Summer Music: 6.28 – 7.4

June 28, 2017

Photo from Mill City Times

Well, one thing that last weekend’s Jazz Fest proved is that we have a wealth of jazz here in the Twin Cities. We also have a wealth of roots, blues, R&B, bluegrass, Cajun, classical music, and worldbeats, so there’s no reason that you cannot see music that you like. The 4th of July is just about upon us, and though I don’t have any music listings for that day, I’m sure that some celebrations will feature live music. Whether you are joining others in outdoor celebrations, staying home and grilling, or go out, remember: Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 28

Southside Aces Celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) The 14th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference is taking place in Saint Paul, and the Southside Aces are going to be playing a lot of Fitzgerald-era  tunes to help the celebrants.

Richard Johnson & Debbie Duncan @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $45w/Dinner) As I mentioned in last weeks newsletter, Pianist Johnson has been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. Vocalist Debbie Duncan is our own “best-kept secret,” equally conversant in straight ahead and soulful jazz. Here’s Debbie.

Thursday, June 29

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Steven Hobert is a pianist who’s playing is often ethereal and impressionistic is joined by Yohannes Tona, bass; Pete Whitman, sax; and LA Buckner, drums.

Niny Salem @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) With SouthEast Asian roots and life experiences from four different continents, Ms Salem will be singing the songs of Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, and other female artists in a number of different languages.

Friday, June 30

Silverback Trio CD Release Party @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) David Hirsch, keyboards, electronics, & sax; Brent Wallace,m bass; and Byron Johnson-Blancahrd, drums comprise this trio, which fuses atmospheric electronics with high energy melodies. They’re celebrating their debut CD. Here they introduce themselves before a clip of them playing.

Saturday, July 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) After curating and hosting an incredible array of talent during the Jazz Festival, Steve Kenny returns to his normal programming of Saturday night jazz at the Black Dog. Tonight’s headliner is drummer/percussionist Babatunde Lea, with a new quartet: Mathew Trice, alto; Will Kjeer, keys; and Jax Ravel, bass. Opening is the Drew Stinson Trio w/Stinson bass; Patrick Adkins, piano; and Dan May, drums. Here’s Lea with a different quartet.

Andrew Walesch Trio @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) The talented pianist/vocalist steps out from some of his normal haunts to entertain at the newly remodeled Normandy Kitchen. Get a reservation if you want a hi-top table. Otherwise, the bar has been extended, so there are more seats there.

Minnesota Hard Bop Collective Organ Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, 2014 Washington Ave, N, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon has been putting together groups of various sizes to play classic hard bop of the 50s and 60s, together with a few originals in that format. He’ll be accompanied by Javi Santiago on keys and Mike Wolter on guitar.

Mauilotus: The Marilyn Allysum Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This group of award-winning musicians takes a global approach to music, transcending jazz and worldbeats to make their statement. Marilyn Allysum, composer, flute, piano, gu zheng, and vocals; Charles Fletcher, bass; Mike Hurley, drums & percussion; David Wolfe, Persian Harp & Tibetan Singing Bowls. Their last concert at Jazz Central sold out.

Sunday, July 2

Oudyano @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Pianist/Accordionist Steven Hobert has found a kindred spirit in Issam Rafea, a Syrian who plays Oud. Their music is uplifting.

Monday, June 3

Geoffrey Keezer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Pianist Keezer was a member of Art Blakey’s group at 18, and toured with folks like Joshua Redman, Benny Golson, and Ray Brown while in his 20s. More recently he’s recorded with Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, and has toured with Christian McBride and collabored with Sting and Wayne Shorter. He’s been nominated for three Grammys.

Tuesday, July 4

Happy 4th of July!

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 28

Mary Sue Englund @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Mary Sue Englund (no relation to me, btw) is a Minnesota-born, Nashville-based country songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, author and graphic designer who tours with Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan as a musician and backup singer. Bring a lunch or get one at Anita’s Cafe at Landmark.

The Hambone Wilson Band w/Billy Stoops on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer/Songwriter Billy Stoops has been living in the Pacific Northwest for over two decades, performing all the music that comes under Americana. He’ll be performing with the Hambone Wilson Band from Virginia. This quartet plays roots, Americana, Old Time Rock n’ Roll, and more. Tune in to get a sense of what they sound like and head to the 331 Club if you want to hear more. Here’s the Hambone Wilson Band.

Wailing Souls @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance, $20 Door) This legendary reggae roots group dates back to the 60s, when they worked with reggae icon Joe Higgs. They fused the sound of Motown and close harmonies with roots reggae and dancehall, with a number of heir songs appearing in the 90s film Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsled team. Dred I Dred opens.

Thursday, June 29

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (7) The music of Steely Dan can’t be done by a four-piece, or even a five-piece band. If you’re going to cover all of their music you’ll need a 13-piece band, at least that’s what Steeling Dan has been working with since 2002. Here’s a promo video that shows what they can do.

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) When talking about Southern blues-rocker Ellis critics and fans often use the words, fiery, searing, and incendiary when describing the guitarists’ playing. But then, he was born in Atlanta, grew up in Southern Florida, and was inspired by a BB King performance as a teenager.

Friday, June 30

Katy Vernon Band @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Anyone who follows Katy on FaceBook knows that she’s been on an incredible journey, touring Great Britain for about six weeks, and playing her ukelele at festivals, hospices, hospitals, pubs, and other places. There is no doubt that the journey has been inspirational for her, and we get to see the results tonight.

Albert Cummings @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $38) Cummings is a blues-rock virtuoso on guitar who has played with BB King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rhythm section liked his playing so much they played on and produced his solo debut, 2003’s From the Heart. He’s been recording wand touring on stop since then.

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble @ Cedar Cutlural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) This Barcelona, Spain band actually got started in Chicago, but it wasn’t until founder Aaron Feder moved to Spain 101years ago and met some Nigerian musicians that it began to gel and take off, and have since released three albums. I believe this is the second appearance at The Cedar this year. Opening by Somali percussionist Harbi, who will debut his work “Heartbeat of Durbaanka,” a new work funded by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership program.

Saturday, July 1

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($? – Cheap?) Classic country music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as done by the the is five-piece  who are obviously fans of the genre: Jenny Russ, vocals; Jimmy Kennedy, guitar & vocals; Randy Venaas, bass; Mo Engel, drums; and Clay Williams, pedal steel and guitar. Songs include: You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, and Who’s Going to Take Your Garbage Out.

Karl B & the Soul Surgeons @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This funk-fusion band recently released their debut full-length album, Electrosurgery. Members: Karl Brueggemann, drums; Andrew McManimon, guitar; Elliot Keyes, bass; and Fran Merchiewitz, keys.

Nooky Jones Album Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)  Nooky Jones has been around the Cities for a couple of years now, spreading smooth neo-soul with hearty elements of jazz and R&B, and undertones of hip-hop. Now they are ready to release their self-titled debut album. Nooky Jones is: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals/trumpet; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, keys: Reid Kennedy, drums; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Ryan Christianson, trombone. With Pho and DJ Sarah White.

Sunday, July 2

Bevery McClellan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) McClellan is the soulful singer with the huge sound who was a finalist in The Voice, a few years back, in which she did a rousing version of The Thrill is Gone. She’s a talented lady capable of playing a number of instruments and singing in a variety of styles. Here she is from a 2011 performance at the Dakota.

Tuesday, July 4

Happy 4th of July!

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.


Penultimate Summer Music: 8.24 – 8.30

August 24, 2016

2015-09-07 15.50.34Can it be that it’s time for the State Fair already? Oh the time goes by so quickly when you’re having fun, and we certainly do that every summer here in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. There is music everyday at the Fair, and not just in the Grandstand, which has some noteworthy attractions this year, as do the free outdoor stages at the West End, the Leinie Lodge, and the Intenational Bazaar. I’ll let you check the Fair’s website. I can’t say there’s jazz, but there’s lots of other kinds of music. The Minnesota Blues Society has kindly put together a list of performances on a daily basis, which you can find here. In the meantime, there’s lots of jazz around town. Have fun, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 24

Pat Donahue and Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm A guitar-lovers dream as Donahue, a finger-picking champion, and Magraw, a genre-shifting magician, play together in a listening room where they can be best appreciated.

SH4 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This is the newest group from pianist Steve Hobert  whose playing can often be described as sparkling, etherial, and downright full of wonder. He’ll be joined by Johannes Tona, bass; LA Buckner on drums; and Jabari Powell, a newcomer to town, on alto sax. They’ll be performing jazz and R&B standards from folks like Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Kendrick Lamar.

 

JelloSlave @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) This is a “new music” quartet, with quotation marks, in that they have been around long enough that they aren’t new, but rather play new compositions. With two cellos, tabla, and a drum kit, they play classical compositions, as well as pop/rock compositions, sometimes combining them into one piece. Michelle Kinney, cello; Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Gary Waryan, tables; and Greg Schutte, drums, don’t play that often as JelloSlave  so see them while you can, especially considering the unique venue of the outdoor plaza at the Mill City Museum.

Thursday, August 25

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Walesch is a talented pianist/vocalist with a predilection for the Great American Songbook and a singing style that evokes crooners of the past. Tonight he’ll be performing songs about the fleeting passing of summer, with help from the venerable Dave Karr on sax; the always swinging Billy Peterson on bass; and ace timekeeper Pete James Johnson on drums.

Friday, August 26

Jeremy Walker; Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover); 9pm (Aces – $10) The folks at Vieux Carré have hit on a winning formula: bringing in terrific solo artists for the 6pm dinner show, and equally terrific groups for the 9pm shows. Tonight, pianist/composer Walker will play during the dinner hour, then at 9pm, the six-piece Southside Aces will heat things up with traditional New Orleans jazz. With a sousaphone!

 

Adam Booker’s Hip-Gnosis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/studentID) Adam Booker is a bass player who currently teaches at the UofMN-Duluth. He has an extensive history with groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. He’ll be joined by Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, tenor; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Boo Boo’s Last Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10, $5w/studentID) This is the last event in this summer series, as each of these young musicians head back to their respective colleges. Edmund Catlin, drums; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, have been performing a Thelonious Monk album every other week at Jazz Central this summer. See what they’ll play for their last performance.

Saturday, August 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) A couple of younger bands tonight, starting with Amythest 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums; Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Followed at 8:30 or so by No Exit, a group of post high-school students who will all be going back to college in the next week or so: Peter Goggin, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Nicole Mitchell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10/$15) Wow! Kudos to whomever booked Mitchell  a jazz flautist, who has consistently won Downbeats award for rising flautist before awards as an established flautist during the last decade. She formerly served as the first female to be president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and is the founder of a number of groups, including: The Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, and Sonic Projections. tonight, she’s accompanied by Bryan Nichols, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Sunday, August 28

The Peterson Family: Songs Our Mother Loved @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) For the 95th anniversary of the birth of the late Jeanne Arland Peterson, her children, all of whom have been highly successful in the music business, have prepared a special show. Patty Peterson on vocals, Linda Peterson on keys and vocals; Billy Peterson on bass; grandson Jason Peterson DeLaire on saxophone and piano. Jeanne Arland was named an Arts Midwest Jazz Master in 1998, and was the second woman named to the Minnesota Hall of Fame, after Judy Garland. This is sure to be a warm, loving, and entertaining tribute to “The Matriarch of Minnesota Jazz.”

Connie Evingson @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($30) Ms Evingson continues her regular appearances at the Jungle. This time she’s singsong from the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks, backed by the ace trio of Tanner Taylor, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, sax. The afternoon show is about sold out, but fans can still find seats for the 7:30 show.

Monday, August 29

Return of Born to Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Larry McDonough and his septet keep filling up the Dakota with this show featuring the music of Chet Baker and early 60s era Miles Davis. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s your chance. Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Steve Kenny, flumpet; Richard Terrill, tenor and soprano saxes; Jeff King, alto and baritone saxes;  Jim Bierma, bass; Dean White, drums; and Guest: Carol Bergquist, flute

Bill Carrothers and Anna Mjoll @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $40 w/Dinner) Pianist Carrothers must really like the Dunsmore Room, since he travels from Michigan’s Upper Penisula regularly to play there. This time the internationally known pianist is bringing an Icelandic singer with him. Mjöll grew up in a musical household (her parents had a successful band and a TV show), and after competing in the Eurovision singing contest, toured the world with Julio Iglesias.

Tuesday, August 30

Pat Mallinger & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($15) A concert in which two Saint Paul natives return to the Twin Cities. They’re both monsters of their respective instruments: the piano for Carrothers, appearing for the second night in a row, and the saxophone for Mallinger. This should be fun!

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (GRAIN – $6) Another complete evening of jazz at the Vieux. Pianist Chris Lomheim creates luminous, dreamy moments as he plays for a dinner crowd. Then the highly active drummer JT Bates brings his organ trio to the stage, with Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar. It’ll be a jazz party!

Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist/composer recently finished up his PhD in music and has moved to the Twin Cities, where he’s been playing in various groups. HIs is a big band gig, which will likely be more like an open rehearsal. It will be interesting to hear Hedenstrom’s take on big band music.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 30, 31

Jane Monheit and Nicholas Payton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7-m ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Vocalist Monheit and trumpeter Payton are calling this show Ella and Louis revisited. Since her beautiful voice vaulted her to stardom in 1998’s Thelonious Monk competition, Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. The 39 year old still has a terrific voice, as exemplified in her latest release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. It was produced by New Orleans native and fantastic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, so I guess it seemed natural that they collaborate on this project. If they can have half as much fun as Ella and Louis Armstrong, it will be a great show.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 24

Hounds of Finn @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) This trio performs music based on the roots of Celtic and American traditions, that is music inspired by Celtic, Americana, Blugrass and other folk and roots music from around the world. Its members are Pete McCauley, on vocals, mandolin, and guitar; Michelle MacGregor on fiddle and bodhran (that skinny drum often played with a small double headed stick); and Lojo Russo on vocals, guitar, mandolin, bodhran, and bass.

Kildahl & Vonderharr Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Kit Kildahl, guitar; Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr (aka Stevie V) on harp; and Dave Pengra, bass guitar; all hail from the Mankato area. Kildahl and Vonderharr put out a fine blues album a few years back called Working Without A Net, featuring some snappy originals and a few choice covers. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and then head over to the 331 Club.

Mehmet Polat Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Three virtuoso practitioners of instruments that are definitely not European. Mehmet Polat was born and raised in Turkey, and studied Ottoman music in Istanbul, where his approach to playing the oud eventually landed him in Amsterdam. There he studied and immersed himself in the music of a number of other cultures, including Persian, Flamenco, and African music. He formed a trio, whose other members are pekin Basar, who plays the Ney, an end-blown flute that may be the oldest kind of instrument still in use, and Victor Sims, on ngoni and percussion. I believe there’s also a Kora, a 21 string instrument from West Africa, in the mix. The resulting music is, at times, contemplative, and spicy.

Thursday, August 25

The Honeydogs @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) This is the last performance of this year’s Music in Mears series, and the organizers are presenting us with one of the finest rock/pop bands in the area. Under the leadership of frontman/guitarist/songwriter Adam Levy, they’ve produced 10 albums and a Best of compilation since their 1995 debut on Mercury records. No less an artist than Al Kooper is a fan, as is the mayor of Saint Paul. The Latin Billies, a sextet that performs in both English and Spanish, open.

Dan Tedesco w/Hannah Von Der Hoff @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) If you’re looking for a lower key evening, this double bill of singer/songwriters might just fill the bill. Headliner Tedesco, who hails from Des Moines these days, is a guitarist/singer songwriter whose influences range from Van Halen and Pete Townsend to George Benson and Wes Montgomery, though he admits that the rock n’ roll side is dominant. Von Der Hoff is a bluesy, soulful singer/songwriter who sometimes leads an R&B-ish band, though tonight she’s flying solo.

Friday, August 26

Soul Tight Committee w/Ginger Apocalypse @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) As summer winds down, so do some of the outdoor series we’ve been enjoying. This is the last performance in the Rhythm in Rice series, featuring the tight, ten-piece R&B horn band Soul Tight Committee. Opening is Ginger Apocolypse, for whom it is hard to find information. It might be an electronic/metal band or a horde of red-haired, freckle-faced, pale skinned zombies.

Buffy Sainte-Marie @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) Those of you of a certain age may remember her songs “Universal Soldier,” or “Until It’s Time for You To Go.” If you’ve followed her closely, you know that she co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” with Joe Cocker. And, she was on Sesame Street for five years in the mid-70s. Her songs have been covered by The Indigo Girls, Janis Joplin, Neko Case, Dottie West, Glen Campbell; Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Donovan, and many more. Sainte-Marie has a new album out, Power in the Blood, with a batch of new songs, some of which cover social criticism, while others are love songs and one is a blues rocker. Here them now before they get covered.

Malamanya Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) If you missed their performance at the Icehouse last week, have no fear. Even if you caught it, this is a CD release party, so the energy and excitement will be even more pronounced for these purveyors of classic Cuban sons, energetic salsas, and other Latin rhythms.

Friday, Saturday, August 26, 27

Hipshaker 14th Anniversary Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) Now one of the longest running funk soul dance nights in the country, Hipshaker is celebrating its 14th Anniversary as a 45RPM Dance Night with a two night blowout. Friday night is dedicated to Hipshaker favorites, while Saturday night will be a showdown between Motown and James Brown. Dance, Dance, Dance.

Saturday, August 27

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Erica West Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikkie & Rich – No Cover), 9pm (Erica West $8) Again we have a one-two punch at the Vieux, with Nikki & Rich providing bluesy folk and folk-rock during the early evening, and the Erica West Band starting at 9pm. West is a sultry, powerful singer with a six-piece back up band. West and the band perform blues, R&B, and jazzy versions of standards.

Wenso Ashby Live! @ the Penumbra Theater, 270 Kent Street, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($10 general, $15 Reserved) Ashby is a keyboard player who started out as a producer in hip-hop and has had some significant success in the smooth jazz area, though he calls it Contemporary Jazz With Soul. He’s released six albums, often featuring a female singer, and tonight he’ll be presenting music from a singer/songwriter point of view. The show also features K Jay The Comedian, and proceeds will be donated to the Hallie Q Brown Food Shelf.

Sunday, August 28

Lonnie Knight Cancer Fight @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Donation at Door) Veteran guitarist/singer Lonnie Knight started as a folk singer back in the antediluvian days and was part of the burgeoning Twin Cities rock scene in the early 60s. He’s since gone on to record and perform with a slew of better known, if no more talented, performers. Of late, hes been fighting off cancer, but still needs help with medical expenses. A number of friends are helping out by performing, including Mick Sterling, the Lisa Wenger Band, Mary Jane Alm, James Loney and Lolo’s Ghost, anmd the Smokin’ Section, in addition to Knight himself. There’ll be an All-Star Jam, and well as a live auction and raffle.

Tuesday, August 30

Cajun Crawfish Hotdish @ Sea Salt, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Cajun Crawfish Hotdish is not a new offering from the popular restaurant, but rather a seven-piece group that lays down the Southern Louisiana sounds that make people get up and dance. You can even dance a step or two while waiting in line for Sea Salts signature dishes of crawfish, fish tacos, oysters, and gumbo.

 

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.


Halloween Music and More: 10.28 – 11.3

October 28, 2015

OF-Halloween-Pumpkin-Joke-Well good grief, it’s Halloween! This time showing up on a Saturday night. There are many public events taking place, of which I’m only listing a few. Have fun, and remember that music lifts the spirit.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, October 28

Southside Aces @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Looking for a brassy band with a tuba? Want to dance? The Aces have you covered, with members who are well-versed in the New Orleans tradition” Rob erg Bell, guitar; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Tony Galluff, clarinet; Zack Lozeir, trumpet; and Dave Michael, drums.  New Orleans Traditional Jazz Quarterly called them “A true, authentic New Orleans dance-hall style band.”

Canadian Girlfriend and The Fables Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Canadian Girlfriend is led by cellist Greg Byers  who recently graduated from McNally Smith with a Master of Music in Performance: Other members of the band are Elliot Wachs, Hayden Fihn, Frank Merchlewitz, and Lars Johnson. The Fables Trio is Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Lars Larson, drums.

Thursday, October 29

Emily-GreenEmily Green’s Tribute to the 30s @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Green and pianist Chris Lomheim are joined by Graydon Peterson on bass; and Reid Kennedy on drums to celebrate songs of the 30s.

Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) An exquisite pairing of vocals and guitar, that shine on both jazz standards by the like of Thelonious Monk and the Great American Songbook.

Friday, October 30

Todd Harper Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 56:30 – 7:30pm (Tip Jar) You may not be in the mood for any Halloween hijinks. In that case head to the Black Dog where pianist Todd Harper will be joined by bassist Keith Yannes and drummer Eric Courson for an early evening of reflective, delicate, and decidedly un-devilish music on “Devil’s Night.”

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo of Jeremy Walker by Andrea Canter

Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) The pianist/composer is back at the Vieux to provide late happy hour/dinner music that’s far, far better than what you’d expect at this time of day.

 

Magraw, Wells, & Bisong: a Benefit for Music Students in Guyana @ Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm (Donation) Tuba player Tom Wells, who plays with Dick and Jane’s Brass Band, and with Maurice Jacox on occasion, will be playing with the fabulous guitarist Dean Magraw, and Ernest Bisong, a young jazz violinist from Guyana. Wells worked with the Guyana Lutheran Music Academy  for a few weeks last year and will be retuning this year. Any money raised will go to sponsor 15 Guyana students who took lessons last year but are unable to do so this year without some sponsorship. In lieu of tickets, donations will be accepted at the door.

Hipster Farm Supply Company/Basement Society @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) No matter what the group is called, it’s led by Pete James Johnson, recently returned from Los Angeles, where he spent a number of years playing with folks like Bob Mintzer, Russ Ferrante, Rufus Reid, and Ambrose Akinmusire and more. He’ll be joined by Javi Santiago on piano, and Dan Carpel on bass.

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Battle Cat @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This edition of Friday Night jazz at the Nicollet features Park Evans, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Cody McKinney, bass. Each of these musicians could lead their own band. The combination is sure to spark some musical fireworks.

Saturday, October 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm, 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s a combination of young guns and seasoned veterans tonight. At 7pm it’s the Will Schmid Trio, featuring Schmid, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick, drums. At 8:30 How Birds Work will perform. This group was a monthly feature back at the Artists’ Quarter, so it’s great to be able to hear them once again: Kenny Horst, drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Monday, November 2

U of MN Jazz Ensemble II and Combos @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) Head over to the west bank campus of the U to hear the future of jazz as college students in the Jazz Ensemble II and various combos play for you.

Real Bulls and Enormous Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Real Bulls is the dynamic drumming duo of JT Bates and Dave King, both of whom create a pantheon of sounds on their instruments. Second act up is The Enormous Quartet: Park Evans, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, sax; and Joey Van Philips, drums.

Tuesday, November 3

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Another early evening of exquisite music, this time from pianist Mary Louise Knutson  whose album In the Bubble spent considerable time at the top of the jazz charts, and who regularly tours with the Doc Severinsen big band.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) It’s a very jazz night at the Vieux, as this swinging combination of musicians take the stage after Mary Louise Knutson. Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring lots of energy and chops to their performances.

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 28

Katey Belleville on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, Bluegrass, and Folk, from a singer/songwriter/guitarist  ho performs originals, traditional tunes, and contemporary tunes from artists like Gillian Welch. Tune in during the 5pm hour, and head over to the 331 to hear her live. She’ll be joined by friends Zach Gusa, guitar and vocals; Justin Bruhn, upright bass; and Mike Hedding on various stringed instruments.

Leon Bridges @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) Well, it’s sold out, but if you can get in, you’ll hear contemporary R&B that evokes, but doesn’t copy the likes of Sam Cooke. Bridges is an excellent songwriter with a voice that’s sweet, yet sure.

Hannah Von Der Hoff & the Dangertones: Humpy’d Halloween @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8, $5 with Costume) Work the kinks out of your costume with this early Halloween special featuring Von Der Hoff, a singer who does a modern take on 60s R&B. She’s got a strong voice that’s well suited to soulful sounds, and a band that serves her well.

Thursday, October 29

Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 3pm (No Cover) Make your way to the tony NE village for a dose of the blues from gravel voiced Jackson and his guitarist/drummer cohort Johnson. Here he is with a full band.

Badi Assad @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists.

Friday, October 30

Paul Metsa is Going to the Dogs @ Darby’s Pub and Grill, 315 5th Ave N, Minneapolis. $10 Suggested Donation) Singer/composer, guitarist, and author Paul Metsa is celebrating his 60th birthday with a benefit for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue. Paul knows many folks throughout the music industry, so don’t be surprised if some stop by and even perform a song or two.

Devil’s Night at the Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 – $15 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of solo, duo, and mixed chamber works featuring The Skeleton Crew chamber ensemble, as well as guest artists Eric Struve on upright bass; and Julie Johnson on concert flute, bass flute, and looping pedals, as well as mixed media visual artists Krista Pumroy, Beth Lowe, and Tom Siler. Here’s Julie Johnson in a different collaborative context. Here is Johnson on flute.

Friday, Saturday, October 31, 31

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Popovic grew up in a home where her father’s record collection and nightly jam sessions inspired her to take up guitar at the age of fifteen. She eventually moved to the United States and began playing and touring, winning over fans with her electric funk, slide guitar, and jazzy blues. She’s been the only female performer on the Experience Hendrix tours and has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards.

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Celebrate the Halloween weekend with the music of New Orleans’ Raw Oyster Cult  featuring members of the Radiators, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and Papa Grows Funk: Dave Malone, vocals and guitar; Camile Baudoin, guitar; Frank Bua, drums, John “Papa” Gros, vocals, keys; and David Pomerleau, bass. Saturday’s show will feature the Krewe of DADs 30th Annual Masquerade Ball: “I Walked With Zombies.” Here’s an example of the Cult .

Saturday, October 31

Jeremy Messersmith & Friends present The Undead Masquerade @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Billed as an Evening of Music and the Macabre, this show will feature Messersmith’s 2010 CD, “The Reluctant Graveyard” (Named by NPR as one of the Top Ten Albums of the year) in its entirety, as well as an assortment of ghoulish tunes. Guests include Chris Koza, Aby Wolf, Lydia Hoglund (Bomba De Luz), and Natalie Lovejoy. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

Lamont Cranston Halloween Party @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 11pm. Pat Hayes has been carrying on and leading this band since 1969, and as a result, knows how to fill a dance floor and get the party going, whether for New Year’s, Halloween or any other occasion. Lamont Cranston has been named Best Twin Cities Blues Band a number of times, served as the inspiration for Dan Ackroyd’s Blues Brothers,and served as the opening band for a leg of a Rolling Stones tour. Here’s one of their instrumental workouts.

Patty & the Buttons @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Yes, yes, yes. More costume and Halloween frivolity as Patty and the Buttons bring their button-accordion-fueled swing the the basement club.

Sunday, November 1

Daddy Squeeze joins Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3 – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Dan Newton, master of the “Stomach Steinway” sits in with Corpse Reviver: Adam Kiesling, playing a new Banjo; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard and prcussion; and Jillian Rae, fiddle; for a spirited afternoon of music from the Anthology of American Folk Music!  Here’s a lighthearted version of a classic.

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.


Autumn’s Arrival. Music: 9.23 – 9.29

September 23, 2015
And so it begins...

And so it begins…

Welcome to Autumn and another week of music to lift your spirit, from new jazz bands, to visiting blues, folk, and Finnish musicians. Autumn also brings the Fall Pledge Drive for KFAI, the community radio station where I volunteer and produce a weekly jazz show (Saturday mornings, 10:30 – Noon). I would much appreciate your support, which you can show by pledging Saturday morning during my show. You can call 612-375-9030 between 10:30am and Noon. You can also go to http://www.kfai.org and follow the instructions there. KFAI has always been a big supporter of area musicians, including about 99.9% of the musicians whose performances I list each week. Thank you for your support.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 23

Rootie Tootie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) An evening of music inspired by Monk, Ornette, and Hank, presented by Pete Whitman, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Steve Hobert, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Thursday, September 24

Southside Aces @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Some traditional brass band dancehall music from New Orleans. Since they play all over the midwest, the Aces can rightfully be called a “territory band.”  Members are: Robert Bell, guitar; Tony Balluf, clarinet; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; and Dave Michel drums.

Sheridan Zuther @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Zuther spent seven years touring the U.S. andCanada as a member of Five By Design, and now the opera trained singer is concentrating on her solo career. Her approach to singing is always uplifting and inviting.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 cash only) Trumpeter Adam Meckler is fairly prolific, composing and arranging songs for various groups, student bands, and his own 17 piece Orchestra. This should be a great venue in which to hear these very talented musicians. Though the lighting isn’t particularly good on this video, the music is just fine.

Friday, September 25

Anthony Cox: Riotous N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Another musical brainchild of the talented bassist, who is joined by deVon Gray, keys; Sarah M. Greer, vocals; John Penny, guitar; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Javi Santiago Sextet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 cash only) Santiago is a relatively young pianist who easily attracts other talent, both emerging and veteran, to play with him. Tonight he’s joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Ted Olson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, September 26

Saturday Night Jazz CD Release @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) John Penny Trio opens at 7pm with Penny guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Then the CD release of A Night Together, with original arrangements by Adam Meckler of songs by Ellinton, Bechet, Reinhardt, Hart, Desmond and others performed by a band of Twin Cities Jazz Stars – Petrer Schimke, piano; Kenny Horst, drums, Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Kenny, flumpet; and Brandon Wozniack saxophones.

Monday, September 28

Larry McDonough’s 60th Birthday @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) McDonough is a sensitive piano player with a voice that reminds many of Chet Baker. To celebrate his birthday, McDonough has been asking fans to send him requests from his repertoire of eight CD releases. Joining him will be his regular quartet with Richard Terrill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums; as well as special guest including Steve Kenny, trumpet/flumpet; Jeff King, saxes, and Phil Holm, trumpet.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) This relatively new quintet features some young lions tackling music from the Traditional and Swing eras. Members are: Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Deveraux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Evan Clark, tuba; and Andres Crovetti, drums.

Gastonguay, Harris & Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Soul jazz with a modern twist comes to the Icehouse stange with this classic B3 Organ band featuring Kevin Gastonguay, organ; Zacc Harris, guitar; and JT Bates, drums; performing deep cut classics and originals.

Tuesday, September 29

Dave Graf Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Graf is one of the most versatile trombone players in the Twin Cities, leading his own band on CD, playing with folks like Slide Hampton, Jack McDuff, or the Woody Herman Orchestra, playing in pit bands for touring musicals, and backing folks like Natalie Cole, Harry Connick, Jr., and Juli Andrews. He’ll be joined tonight by Daniel Leahy, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

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, September 23

Patty & The Buttons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Button accordion maestro Patrick “Patty” Harrison leads this quartet through an eclectic menu of trad jazz, Western Swing, blues, Jug band music, and 1930s pop songs. Other members include Keith Boyles, bass; Tony Balluff, clarinet; and Mark Kreitzer, guitar. Tune into Fresh Air Radio, where they’ll play live during the 5pm hour, and then head over to the 331 to catch them in person.

Thursday, September 24

Shemekia Copeland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $38) This blues-singing daughter of the late guitar ace Johnny Copeland has toured with the Rolling Stones, headlined the Chicago Blues Festival, and earned parade from Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, ZZ Tops, Billy Gibbons, and Maya Angelou.

A bunch of sharp dressed dudes

A bunch of sharp dressed dudes

Irie Sol @ The Commodore Hotel, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25 includes drink ticket and “tasty treats”) A reggae band at the one-time home of F. Scott Fitzgerald? Makes perfect sense when you realize Irie Sol is celebrating the release of Dred Scott Fitzgerald, with music themed around the life of Fitzgerald. This is part of a birthday celebration of the Saint Paul author, with proceeds going to support a non-profit called Fitzgerald in Saint Paul. 1920s attire is encouraged.

 

Thursday – Sunday, September 24 – 27

Barbershop harmony of a different kind

Barbershop harmony of a different kind

Always and Forever @ Illusion Theater, Cowles Center, Minneapolis. 8pm Thursday, Friday, 4:30pm Saturday, 7:30pm Sunday ($25 – $40) This popular musical is returning to the Illusion to celebrate the close of its 40th year of operation. It stars Julius C. Collins III, Dennis Spears, Gevonee Ford, and Isaiah Cummings who sing songs by Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, Percy Sledge, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Earth, Wind, and Fire, as they reveal the ups and downs of their love lives. Set in a 1970s barbershop, the musical played to standing room only crowds for three months when it opened in 1996, and in later revivals in 2010 and 2011.

Friday, September 25

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Another survivor of the urban folk revival of the 60s comes to town. Singer/songwriter Rush has been an major influence on both James Taylor and Garth Brooks. Rush is a gifted writer and a fine interpreter of other people’s songs as well, first recording the work of folks like Jackson Brown and Joni Mitchell. He’s more recently introduced the world to the work of Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin.

SlovCzech @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Don’t know much about this group, but they sound intriguing – a six piece playing modernized folk music from Czech and Slovakia.

The Northerly Gales @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) This folk quartet draws on Irish, Scottish, Canadian,  and American folk traditions, using fiddle, guitar, pipes, and whatever else is available.

Nikki & the RueMates w/Deano Mikkelson @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Nikki’s bell-like voice, Rich Rue’s stellar guitar work, and the tight rhythm section of Jon Olson on bass and Jimmy “T” Tollesfrud provide some intimate, 60s style folk-rock. Special guest, guitarist Deano Mikkelson, adds a jazzy vibe to the proceedings. Here they are in trio format.

Saturday, September 26

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm. (No Cover) Line up for brunch at this popular weekend morning eatery and enjoy the folk blues of Ms Haus and her trio, singing songs about rural life, big business, and the little guy.

Galactic Cowboy Orchestra @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 9pm (Tip Jar?) This small room will fill with big music as the 4 piece GCO brings their fusion of bluegrass, metal, and jazz to the restaurant. Using guitar, fiddle, bass, and drums, they are just as likely to play an extreme Indian raga as a traditional bluegrass tune.

Tuesday, September 29

The Pluto Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Original music encompassing post-rouck, soul, new wave, and synth pop.

Kardemimmit @ The Cedar Cultural Center, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) Holy Alliteration! This is a Finnish four-piece female folk group. Besides singing, Kardemimmit plays the Finnish national instrument, a cantle, in obit its 15 string and 38 string forms. Their music covers folk traditions throughout Finland. Opening is the fine young vocalist Lynn O’Brien, who will be joined by cellist Jessica Cheadle.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 29, 30

Jeffrey Osborne @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm each night ($65), 9pm (Wed only – $50) Ooh, some smooth, seductive, soul love power is happening at the Dakota. Vocalist Osbourne started out with the popular funk group L.T.D. back in the 70s, and then went solo in the 80s, becoming a fixture on the R&B charts. He’s received five gold and platinum albums, and recorded an album of duets with James Ingram. His 2013 album A Time For Love features a passel of standard love songs, accompanied by musicians like bassist Christian McBride, pianist George Duke, trumpeter Rick Braun, and saxophonist Kamasai Washington.

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.


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