Celebrations Galore: 4.5 – 4.11

April 5, 2017

We’ve now got April showers working to bring out the buds on trees and in gardens. We also have some fine visiting artists such as Stacy Kent, John Pizzarelli, Larry Fuller, and Elvin Bishop, as well as some unique events, such as the John Prine Celebration, Zeitgeist’s Early Music Festival, and a “Retirement Celebration” for Spider John Koerner. So…  once again we have many opportunities to let music lift our spirits. Take advantage of them.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 5

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Harold’s guests are usually be listed under Roots & Blues, but this is different. The Mississippi Hot Club plays gypsy jazz, also known as Jazz Manouche, the style of music pioneered by Django Rheinhardt during the late 1930s and WWII. Though their configuration is classic, they leave room for a bit of a modern take on the genre, with songs that might come from the folk idiom, romantic ballads, or jazz standards. Members are: Joshua Parlanti, guitar; Alissa Jacobsen, violin; Luke Zupan and Ian Stenlund, rhythm guitars; and Joseph Downing, upright bass.

Paul Harper’s Show & Tell Band @ The Hennepin Steam Room, 116 N. 1st Avenue, Mpls. 6:30pm -9:30pm (No Cover) The Hennepin Steam Room used to be Tangiers. They’ve redesigned the place and have committed to live music at least three nights a week. Tonight, saxophonist Paul Harper, who plays in the Illicit Sextet and other groups, leads his own band.

Wednesday, Thursday, April 5, 6

Stacy Kent, featuring Jim Tomlinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35) Vocalist Stacy Kent  ses her intimate, light voice very effectively, taking an elegant, minimalist approach to successfully convey the emotion behind songs from the Great American Songbook, France, and Brazil. Her latest album, 2015’sTenderly, is a collaboration with Roberto Menescal, the great Brazilian guitarist and composer, who wrote O Pato and other Bossa Nova hits. Her husband, Jim Tomlinson is a saxophonist whose playing evokes Stan Getz.

Thursday, April 6

Art & Jazz @ Casket Arts Building, 681 !7th Ave NE, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8:30pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities own nationally published jazz photographer Andrea Canter will be showing a collection of (mostly) black and white jazz portraits as well as a special collection of jazz-focused note cards in Studio 116. Meanwhile, The Dakota Combo w/bassist Adam Linz will perform at the 4th Floor Atrium at 5:30 & 7:30; while Larry McDonough & Carol Berquist will perform on the first floor at 6:30pm. BTW, 10% of Canter’s sales will go to The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vicky Mountain has taught of number of Twin Cities vocalists, as well she should, given how good she is at interpreting jazz standards, baseball songs, hip pop and some originals. She’ll be accompanied by David Martin on guitar, and special guests.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A double header, featuring The Jax Ravel Gang: Jax Ravel, bass; Blake Hubel, drums; and Javi Santiago, keys, followed at 10:30pm by the Alden Ikeda Group: Scott Newell, saxes; Alden Ikeda Drums; Steve Gnitka, guitar.

Thursday – Sunday, April 6, 8, 9, 10

earWorm Improvisation Ensemble mini-tour @ Khyber Pass & Other Area Venues. (Various Times) earWorm is a collective of composer-performers who present what they describe as “an immersive experience of electroacoustic improvisation, transporting listeners across a panoply of sonic landscapes.” They draw from many styles and experiences, including free-form jazz, blues, minimalism, electronica, dub-step, edm, hip-hop, funk, rock, classical, folk, and many musical traditions of the world. It’s experimental music, that’s for sure. Members are all multi-instrumentalists: James Holdman; Elliot McKinley; Peter Farmer; and Michael Ethan.  Thursday @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul (9pm, $5); Saturday @ The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights (7-pm no cover); Sunday @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul (4-6pm, no cover); and Monday @ Honey, Minneapolis (7:30 – 9:30pm no cover) Listen to their music here.

Friday, April 7

Lila Ammons @ The Hennepin Steam Room, 116 N. 1st Avenue, Mpls. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Lila Ammons is a classically trained vocalist with a family background in jazz (her uncle was saxophonist Gene Ammons) and blues (her grandfather was boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons). Listen to her take on jazz standards, bosses, and blues, backed by some of the Twin Cities best accompanists.

Saturday, April 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) For the first time in over 130 weekly shows at the Black Dog, a vocalist will be performing. Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz begin the evening at 7pm, with Maryann Sullivan  vocals; Doug Haining, sax; Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olson bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Steve Kenny Quartet, with Rodney Ruckus, drums (his last performance before moving out of the Cities); Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, and special guests.

JazzMN Big Band w/Guest Maria Schneider @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindberg Dr, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($35, $37, Students: $10, $20) For jazz fans, this will be a show not to miss. New York based composer Maria Schneider is the pride of Windom, MN, known around the world for her majestic compositions for large groups, including orchestras and symphonies. She’s won five Grammys, including two at the most recent awards for 2016. One was for Sue, her collaboration with David Bowie, and the other was for Thompson Fields, by her own orchestra. She’s been working with the JazzMN band all week, creating arrangements based on the band’s instrumentation.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist/vocalist Kate Lynch and the Fellows (bass, guitar, trombone, trumpet, drums) perform music from the 20s to the 50s, with an occasional 60s hit showing up once or twice an evening. Ms Lynch continues to provide historical perspective on songs, giving not only the year and composers, but other facts, such as what movies were playing downtown when the song was a hit, or where people would go shopping. Add to that the visuals of young swing dancers digging the music, and you have a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Sunday, April 9

John Pizzarelli @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35, $45), 8pm ($25, $35) Vocalist/guitarist John Pizzarelli is warm and witty onstage, whether telling a story or performing. In many respects he’s an old school entertainer – There’s no artifice, no attempts to play “hip chords” or the like, just honest music that’s exceptionally well played by an artist who engages the audience and swings like mad. Note the slightly earlier times for this Sunday night performance.

Monday, April 10

Reichfest @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The April Reichfest celebrating the music of the late minimalist Steve Reich, continues. Tonight a host of musicians will play Reich’s composition 2X5, from 2008. The group includes: Chris Cunningham; Zacc Harris; Pete Hennig; Cody McKinney; Thomas Nordlund; Chris Olson; Doan Brian Roessler; Javier Santiago; Zach Schmidt; and Brian Ziemniak. (Whew!). Second set is by JT Bates and others.

Tuesday, April 11

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover); 8pm (Trio, $6) Start your evening out with the piano stylings of Chris Lomheim, and then get your fill of soulful grease from JT Bates’ organ trio, featuring Bates on drums, of course, with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ.

Larry Fuller Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner) Fuller is a pianist who epitomizes the concept of swing, as well he should given his background. He got his start playing for classic vocalist Ernestine Anderson for five years, then went on to join the Jeff Hamilton Trio for six years, before joining the last edition of the Ray Brown Trio for a few years, and finally the John Pizzarelli Quartet for eight years. Along the way he’s also played with a pantheon of jazz illuminaries.

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, April 5

Radio Joe & The JazzBos @ Mancini’s Char House, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No cover) Given the old school Las Vegas vibe of the lounge at Mancini’s, Radio Joe and the JazzBos, with their vintage swing, jump blues, and romantic ballads, were made to fill the dance floor at the venerable Saint Paul institution.

Thursday, April 6

Verretta @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Original music performed with a big nod towards classic rock with a touch of punk. They say they’re an Outlaw Country Rock n’ Roll Revival Band, and listening to their songs, that seems about right, though perhaps more rock n’ roll than outlaw country.

9th Annual Big Fat Love @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Mother Banjo and Art Vandelay are at it for the 9th year in a row, celebrating the half birthday of John Prine. Each year they gather friends to sing the songs of Prine. This year’s participants include: Terry Walsh, of the Belfast Cowboys, The High 48s, The Gated Community, Kari Arnett, The Eddies, and many more.

Thursday – Sunday, April 6 – 10

Zeitgeists’s 7th Annual Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 2pm Sunday ($15, $10 Students & Seniors, $40 festival pass) This year new music group zeitgeist is celebrating the music of composer Lou Harrison, described as ” true American maverick, Harrison’s integrations of non-Western musical traditions and his innovative use of just intonation embraced new artistic possibilities and made a lasting impact that continues to shape new music today.”  Find out more about the program for each performance and the guest artists here

Friday, April 7

Teague Alexy Band CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Friday series features a trio of Americana groups tonight. It’s  CD Release Party for Teague Alexy (of Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank). The Thirsty River String Band, Trevor James Americana Rebel (of Tin Can Gin), and Ian Alexy will also be appearing. Teague Alexy’s songwriting is clearly influenced by his home in Minnesota as well as his childhood in New Jersey, and life as a traveling hobo musician. His new album is Circuit Sessions, on which he uses a strong rhythm section: Eric Pollard, bass; Steve Garrington, drums; as well as Jake Hanson, guitar. Special guests include Trevor James, the Thirsty River String Band and Ian Alexy.

McNasty Brass Band Vinyl Release Dance Party @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) The McNasty Brass Band has all the verve and outsized excitement that you might expect from a ten-piece band, including the use of contemporary and original songs. They released King Sized Life in January, and are now having another release party for the Vinyl Edition. You don’t have to know special steps to dance to this group, you only have to let your body react to their beats and the rhythm of the sousaphone.

Saturday, April 8

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9:30pm ($35 – $45) Bishop is master blues guitarist and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He started out with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and went on to a successful solo career. While playing solo he also played onstage with The Gratefull Dead, Al Kooper, and The Allman Brothers, recorded with John Lee Hooker, Clifton Chenier, Bo Diddley, and others, and toured with BB King. The Big Fun Trio is an apt name for his group (Bob Welsh, piano/guitar; Willy Jordan, vocalist/percussion), as Bishop’s songs have often been delivered with a sly sense of humor.

Johnny Rawls @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for a reserved table) Soul/Blues singer Rawls can work a crowd and deliver a satisfying, sweat inducing show. He started out playing for folks like ZZ Hill and Joe Tex, and eventually led the bands of OV Wright and Little Johnny Taylor before setting out on a solo career in the late 80s. Both his 2014 album with the late Otis Clay, entitled Soul Brothers, and Tiger In a Cage, from last year, show him to be in fine form.

The Magnolias @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) With twin guitars creating a buzz-saw attack, the Magnolias  urst on the Twin Cities music scene over 30 years ago, becoming known as “Minneapolis’ scruffy also-rans” compared to groups like the Replacements and Soul Asylum. Their fans knew better as the band recorded 3 albums by the end of the 80s, and two more in the 90s. After some fallow years, in the early 2000s, they issued some unrealesed tracks and demos in 2007, and toured Europe in 2008 and 2009. Opening act Johnny Rey has been a fixture of the vibrant Twin Cities music scene for four decades. The guitar player was an original member of Flamingo, playing the old Longhorn Bar in downtown Minneapolis. He led his own band for a few years, but stopped in 1985, not performing again until about four years ago.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Get your salsa dancing shoes out as this septet plays vintage and traditional Cuban rhumbas and mambos, along with salsas, the updated version of mambo.

Sunday, April 9

Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm ($??) Here’s a chance for an afternoon delight, so to speak. Walker is an original soul man who recorded for Goldwax Records out of Memphis back in the 60s, but he’s been our own treasure for decades now, delivering heartfelt soul music in his slightly raspy voice. He’s just been on another international tour, and was recently named winner of Two Blues Music Awards for 2016 – Comeback Artist of the Year, and New Recordings/Southern Soul, for his album If Nothing Ever Changes.

Spider John Koerner “Retirement” Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Folk legend Spider John Koerner is being honored with a “retirement” party by a bunch of mostly younger artists “who appreciate my work and wanted me to have a show with them,” according to Koerner. Those younger artists include The Cactus Blossoms, Lonesome Dan Case, Jack Klatt, Dave Babb, and Grant Johnson. Long time compatriots Willy Murphy and Tony Glover will also take part, as well as Chip Taylor Smith and Paul Strother. For 50 years, Koerner has explored the ranges of traditional American song, both as a solo artists and with a variety of partners, including Koerner, Ray, & Glover, and Willie Murphy. Along with his work with KRG, Koerner’s albums Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Been, from ’86, and Raised by Humans, from ’92 are classics of American folk music.

Monday, April 10

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Bros on Grand, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Fingers is a world-class finger-picking guitarist performing not-so-secretly under an alias. Get your fill of coffee and cool music.

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.


Music for 10.31 – 11.6 – The Post-Hurricane, Pre-Election Edition

October 31, 2012

The river off Clason Point, the Bronx, just after the worst of Sandy had passed. Photo by Maribel Mercado/City Limits

Like many of you, I’ve been focusing on the superstorm and its devastation of the East Coast. The area where I grew up in the Bronx (about two short blocks from the East River) was one of those where folks were evacuated, though they escaped the destruction of Breezy Point, Brooklyn, and the power outages of lower Manhattan. It was during my teenage years in the Bronx that I became besotted with rock n’ roll and got my first deejay job at a Friday night church dance. Speaking of which, I’ll be inaugurating a deejay night Saturday at a new venue in town, The Third Floor. They have jazz on Thursday nights and are trying to see if a deejay night will work on Saturdays. I’m hoping that some of you will drop by. More details here.

But back to what’s happening in live music. One result of the storm was that the Maria Schneider shows at the Dakota have been postponed. Nevertheless, we’ve lots of music to enjoy, including a show by a few members of Maria’s orchestra tonight, and a number of vocalists performing jazz this week, as well as some great Americana and blues. Have a great week. And don’t forget to vote.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

Hurricane Relief @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. (Donation to Hurricane Relief) Though Superstorm Sandy prevented most of Maria Schnieder’s 17 piece band from getting here, four did arrive, including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and drummer Clarence Penn. With the help of a couple of all-star Twin Citizens (Gordy Johnson on bass and Peter Schimke on piano), they are performing anyway. Sophia Shorai will also play a short set. Donations can be made at the door or on your check, and will be given to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. All proceeds from a Hurricane Relief cocktail will be included. Those who attended last night report that the music was first rate, as you might expect.

Thursday, November 1

Photo by Andrea Canter

Vicky Mountain @ The Third Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5) Vocalist extraordinaire Vicky Mountain is joined by guitarist James Allen and a bassist in this new venue on the third floor of Dr. Chocolates’ Chocolate Chateu. Ten beers on tap, a few wine selections, and some fancy cocktails, as well as chocolate. Unfortunately, this unique space is not handicap-accessible, but it does have a parquet dance floor for those who want to dance to Vicky’s swingin’ tunes.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Jazz Central is starting to have vocalist nights on Thursdays and who better to kick things off than that vocalist-about-town Arne Fogel. Fogel and his fedora will be swinging classic tunes by Sinatra, Crosby, and other stalwarts from the 30s to the 60s.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (Valve) and Dave Graf (Slide) go mano-a-mano in trombone competition, accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, November 2

Their 1977 Album.

Pat Moriarty & Phil Hey @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Moriarty (sax) and Hey (drums) put out an outstanding album way back in 1977. Since then, they’ve played together so much that their communication can seem telepathic, as each adjusts to the twists and turns in the other’s playing. It’s free jazz, but that’s no reason to be afraid, since it’s free of pre-conceived composition, but not free of melody and rhythm.

 

Whitman, Schimke, Peterson & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The AQ has put together another group of world-class musicians to explore the nuances of jazz. Though the way I have them listed makes them sound like a law firm, make no mistake, these musicians have played with the best. Expect some wit and fireworks.

Saturday, November 3

Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s tender yet knowing voice will work well in the small bar that’s part of this D’Amico restaurant. Good cocktails, comfy chairs, and a bruschetta that will make you re-think your opinion of the ubiquitous appetizer.

Sunday, November 4

Connie Evingson sings Peggy Lee @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7pm ($25) Cool, yet often smoldering, that’s Peggy Lee, and an apt description of Connie Evingson, who’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Joe Pulice, drums. The smallish Jungle Theater is an intimate venue for Ms Evingson’s stylings. Here she is at one of last year’s Jungle Theater shows.

Monday, November 5

Vinnie Rose & Jeremy Boettcher @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Rose and bassist Boettcher will be tearing things up at the little jazz club that could. It’s a jazz musician’s “hang,” so there’ll be some jammin’ after Rose and Boettcher play.

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

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) In case you haven’t had enough of Halloween parties, here’s a chance to attend one that’s bound to be neighborly, not to mention having cash prizes for the top three costumes. Radio Joe Demko plays music that’s equal parts swing, boogie woogie, and jump blues, which is just fine with his swing-dancing fans. Always a treat, costumes or not.

Thursday, November 1

Jon Rodine & Mother Banjo @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) A double dose of Americana. Mother Banjo often plays solo, bringing gospel, folk, and an alt-country mindset to her songs. Rodine is a soulful singer who can channel funky Americana and soulful country into a sound that’s all his own.

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40)  Kaukonen was a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, with whom he still tours. In the process he morphed from a electric guitar star to an acoustic blues/bluegrass fingerpicker of some reknown, appreciated as a teacher as much as a performer. A much anticipated show.

Friday, November 2

Pill Hill CD Release Party @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) Dan Fowlds was active in the 90s with the post-grunge band, Bump. After taking a sabbatical from music, he’s returned with a new band, Pill Hill, and a new, self-titled CD with tunes that are alternately melancholy, declamatory, and rocking. Fowlds isn’t afraid to add a banjo, organ, or violin to the sound of his Les Paul.  Opening acts are Hello Blue and Wizards Are Real. Hear some examples of Pill Hill’s songs here.

Ian Thomas Alexy CD Release & Day of the Dead Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Alexy, of the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, was Born on the Day of the Dead, so it’s only natural that he calls his CD by that name, and celebrates his birthday with a CD Release party. He’s got a new band, the Deserters, and will be serving up Americana and Old Timey music.

Saturday, November 3

Baroque to Beatboxing @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/$15 Youth & Seniors) Here’s a chance to check out a few different musical styles. Tonight’s performance is all about music and dance. Performers include Julie Johnson on electric flute, playing a new piece created with choreographer/dancer Tamara Ober. Other performers include Jeff Lambert on guitar, Bryan Nichols on piano, and Saltee (Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Mike Michel, guitar; & Carnage the Executioner, beatbox).  The Saltee set will also include break dancers!

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover)  In which guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Ray is joined by Hurricane Harold, harp; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Mikkel Beckman, percussion.  Delta blues and more.

Sunday, November 4

Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Holy cow! Wonderful interpretations of classic folk songs from Koerner, and original stripped down blues from Parr. Plus, they’ll do a few songs together. Afterwards, another legend, Willie Murphy will take the stage. And it’s all at the West Bank’s favorite dive bar.

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.

 


A Whirlwind of Music and More: 5.16 – 5.22

May 16, 2012

This weekend you can explore the art studios, bars, and restaurants of NE Minneapolis.

This week we have a couple of sidemen stepping out as leaders of their own groups, and a number of outstanding visiting artists in jazz, blues, and roots, not to mention an art crawl that’s crawling with music, and a play with music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 16

Babatunde Lea w/Zacc Harris @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Lea is an Afr0-Cuban and World percussionist of many instruments who has played with Harris in the past to great success. As usual at this neighborhood restaurant, reservations are recommended for dinner.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Peterson provides a steady bass for a variety of groups and singers around town, though lately he’s been coming up with his own compositions, many of which have odd time signatures and beautiful melodies. Consequently, to play his songs he’s put together a quartet which includes Adam Meckler on trumpet, Vinnie Rose on guitar, and Adam Suarez on drums.

Thursday, May 17

Snowblind @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Snowblind is a musical collective that works so well because they’re committed to rehearsing and common musical goals. Members include Scott Agster, trombone; Shihad Sen, sax; Adam Rosmiller, trumpet, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. Expect standards from Ellington, Monk, and Blakey, as well as Afro-Cuban and groove-oriented material.

Friday, May 18

Fratzke, Hanson, Roessler, Hennig, & Leggett @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Though it’s not a law firm, expect this group to steadfastly defend the principles of improvisation and the use of imagination in music. Erik Fratzke plays bass with Happy Apple and guitar with Zebulon Pike. Hanson on sax and Roessler on bass are members of the Fantastic Merlins and curate the biweekly jazz series at the Black Dog. Peter Hennig is a Black Dog regular who also plays drums with the Atlantis Quartet and other bands around town, not to mention playing banjo with his own group. Peter Leggett drums with Heiruspecs and other bands about town.

Saturday, May 19

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10, $7 – TCJS Members, $5 – Students) This is the last concert of this year’s series at St. Barnabas Church, 15600 Old Rockford Road in Plymouth. Rhonda will be accompanied by pianist Phil Mattson in a program called Uncommon Standards, featuring songs by Ellington, Gershwin, Arlen, Monk, Mandel, Mercer, Gillespie, Bart, LeGrand, Wilder, Ivan Lins and Blossom Dearie and others

Reynold Phillipsek “Last Summer” CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10 – includes a copy of the CD) Phillipsek continues his exploration of jazz and gypsy jazz styles. He can be subtle, as when accompanying vocalists, or he can be dazzling, though he doesn’t overdo it. Phillipsek will be accompanied by Matt Senjem on bass, and the outstanding violinist, Gary Schulte. Plus, you get a great view of downtown Minneapolis.

On a recent tour with Doc Severinson

Zack Lozier Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether trumpeter Lozier is playing with the Jack Brass Band, the Southside Aces, Havana Hi-Fi, Doc Severinson, Deodatos or any other band, you can expect stellar playing that’s exciting and imaginative. He’s the leader tonight, exploring the music of Lee Morgan, among others, with Brandon Wozniak on sax; Bryan Nichols on piano; Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums, all of whom are worthy of leading their own groups.

Sunday, Monday, May 20, 21

Ramsey Lewis Electric Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65 – $40) The 77 year old NEA Jazz Master had his first hits with funky, hand clappin’ versions of the pop hits, “The In Crowd’ and “Hang on Sloopy” back in the mid-sixties. He’s received three Grammys and seven gold records since then, and had a monster hit with the album “Sun Goddess” in 1974. Lewis revisits some of the Sun Goddess tunes on his newest CD, and will be bringing a quintet to the Dakota to show us where he’s at these days.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, May 16

Paul Geremia on KFAI’s House Party (5pm) and @ The 331 Club, Minnneapolis.  331 Club – 7pm – 9pm. (tip jar). You probably know the drill by now. Tune in to 90.3 or 106.7 FM to hear the artist, then head over to the 331 Club for a 7pm performance. Geremia plays acoustic, mostly pre-war, blues, with the occasional well-crafted original. He’s been playing this stuff for so long, that he completely inhabits it. Geremia is and internationally acclaimed musician, with his most recent album out on Saint Paul’s Red House Records.  If you like the blues at all, or if you simply like honest performances, you will want to check him out. Here’s a video.

Friday, May 18

Scottie Miller Band @ School II Bistro, Chanhanssen. 8pm ($7) Scottie’s piano playing has jump-started many a party and night out. With his Professor Longhair licks and triplett pounding rock n’ roll, Scottie will have you moving and groovin’ as they say.

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s BBQ & Blues, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Lil’ Ed comes by his high-energy slide guitar playing almost naturally – his uncle and mentor was JB Hutto, one of the first-generation slide players out of Chicago. Ed and his band of 20 years deliver full tilt, raucous bues. His playing is contagious, and his moves – from deep back bends to toe-walks, are hugely entertaining. Check out this video.

Saturday, May 19

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ The Blue Fox Bar & Grill, Arden Hills. 9pm (No cover) This a Minnesota Blues Society gig celebrating the Fox as a new society sponsor. Hurricane Harold got his nickname for his ferocious attack on harp. He’s joined by guitarists Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams, as well as the rhythm section of Alan Kirk, and Chris Johnson.

Hotpants 45rpm Dance Parties @ Art-A-Whirl and The Nomad, Minneapolis. 5-8pm (Art-A-Whirl: Free), 9pm – 2am (Nomad: $5) The Hotpants crew will be spinning rare soul & funk during Art-A-Whirl at the Hill Valley Boutique, 33rd & Central Ave NE, then move to their normal monthly throw-down at the Nomad.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 18, 19, 20

Northeast Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl. Art-A-Whirl  has nothing to do with Spin Art, and everything to do with actual artists who have studios throughout NE Minneapolis. The three day shopping/meandering spree also has many bands playing at the outdoor stages of The 331 Club, Psycho Suzi’s, Grumpy’s NE, Anchor Fish & Chips, the Sample room, and Stanley’s during the weekend. Expect a few food trucks and even a trolly for those who are using adult beverages to cool off. More information is available at: http://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl and at the websites for the individual music venues.

John Sayles’ Honeydripper @ Old Arizona Theatre, 2821 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. 7:30pm ($10/$15 suggested donation)  Twin Cities playwright Judy Cooper Lyle has adapted the John Sayles film to the stage for this theater presentation. While I haven’t seen it, the story of a failing blues club in the 50s pinning it’s hope on a young impersonator of a big star is intriguing, to say the least. And the premise rings true. Back then, it wasn’t unusual for two or three versions of Guitar Slim, for instance, to be playing at the same time in different parts of the South.

Sunday, May 20

Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm. Harmonica Curtis Blake blows a mean harp in front of this down n’ dirty danceable blues band.

Spider John Koerner @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm. Catch a legend in his natural habitat – the last vestige of the legendary West Bank of old. Koerner’s disarming way with traditional folk tunes, together with his originals and groan-inducing jokes, are the perfect accompaniment to the bar’s strong drinks.

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.


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