Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: 12.20 – 12.26

December 20, 2017

Toy Trains at Christmas

Or to put it more humorously and inclusively, Happy Chriskwanzacuh – and don’t forget the celebration of Winter Solstice, since we can look forward to increasing daytime light after Thursday. This is a time of year when a number of faiths and cultures have special celebrations, and if you don’t practice those faiths, you can nevertheless appreciate and even enjoy some of their traditions (including setting up toy trains). You still have the opportunity to hear great music throughout our area, though admittedly, you might have to settle for watching Netflix and getting Chinese takeout on December 25. Besides a couple of holiday shows, we can choose from the last appearance in town by the original Bad Plus, a couple of dance-oriented bands, and some roots music. Whatever your traditions at this time of year, enjoy the season, and remember, music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 20

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Pianist Chris Lomheim gathers Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums; for an evening of swinging tunes and subtle ballads. Here is what Lomheim sound like in a trio setting.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 10pm (Free) Original eclectic jazz and creative covers from pianist/composer Mark Vandermyde, with Jason Parvey, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Wednesday, Dec 20 – Saturday, Dec 23

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($40) Since the turn of this century, Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; and Dave King, drums; have been making annual visits to the Dakota to present their iconoclastic jazz, reimagining rock hits and jazz standards while creating songs that are often as quirky as their titles (i.e., 1979 Semi Finalist, Epistolary Echoes). This is the last gig featuring pianist Iverson, who is leaving the group after their New Year’s Eve appearance at the Village Vanguard. His droll wit will be missed, but he’ll be ably replaced by Orrin Evans. Stay tuned….

Thursday, Dec 21

Holiday Piano Bar @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) The “Piano Bar” isn’t really such, since Jazz Central isn’t a bar. Nevertheless curator Sarah M. Greer describes the evening as part open mic, part jam session, and part caroling singalong. Ms Greer will host the evening, aided by pianist Jon de Vall. Bring instruments, charts, your lyric sheets and requests.

Belle Amour Holiday Show @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Looking at their website, it appears that this four-piece group – vocalist, keys, bass, drums – seems to specialize in wedding and corporate gigs. It appears that Graydon Peterson is on bass, though I don’t recognize the other performers. Listening to their songs reveals a tight, jumping outfit that plays vintage jazz, including songs from Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, The Andrew Sisters, and other performers from the 1930s and 40s. Their music is bright, breezy, and fun.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Acoustic-based spontaneous composition from Philip Mann, Ryan Reber, and Rick Ness on horns (and other instruments?).

Friday, Dec 22

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room can be a bit noisy to fully appreciate the playing of pianist Schimke, who always has A-list players with him. Just sit close, enjoy a cocktail, and relax after doing your holiday shopping.

John Raymond’s Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Minneapolis native Raymond is a trumpeter/flugelhorn player who was called a “Rising Star” by no less than DownBeat Magazine. His four albums have all been well received by the NY Times, Downbeat, and Jazz Times. He’s currently Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University. His trip home provides us with a chance to hear him, accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here he is with his New York group.

Saturday, Dec 23

Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15, $20) Carrothers, a pianist whose imagination is always inventive and far-ranging, seems to have fallen in love with the Dunsmore Room, as the Saint Paul native makes the trip from Michigan quite frequently to appear in various groups. He’s recorded 26 albums as a leader and has appeared as a sideman with a wide range of jazzers including Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redmanm, Toots Thielman, and more. He’ll be appearing solo to play on the 9-foot Steinway at the intimate listening room.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Cole Mahlum opens at 7pm, leading his own group. At 8:30pm bassist Ted Olsen appears with frequent collaborators Javi Santiago on piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 24, 25

Merry Christmas! Enjoy a technicolor Christmas at the movies, or a Chinese meal for those who don’t practice the Christian faith.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Dec 26, 27

Connie Evingson: Holiday @ Dunsmore Lodge, Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($22) With its view of a snow-covered lake, the Dunsmore will easily bring to mind a cozy country lodge as Ms Evingson, of the cool, yet sultry voice, celebrates the season, accompanied by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Here’s a cut from her gorgeous Christmas album.

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, Dec 20

Ben Eaton on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Roots/Americana songwriter/guitarist Eaton is a native of Des Moines who now lives in Minneapolis. He’s working on a 5-song EP with drummer Dwight Dario, who used to live around here, and Matt Woods. Tonight he’ll have a 4-piece band with him, featuring guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Dec 21

Draper-Beckmen-Kiesling @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Twin Cities hardest-working washboard player teams up with bassist-around-town Liz Draper and Adam Kielsing (of Pert Near Sandstone) to play old-time music, country blues, early jazz, and maybe a holiday tune or two for your happy hour pleasure.

Friday, Dec 22

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Blues, swing, jump, jive, & jazz for dancing in the Ernie Mattson Ballroom at the commodious Eagles Club.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Though Dusty’s is under new ownership, they remain committed to providing the rootsy groups that have been appearing there for years. Example number 1: Nikki & the Rue-mates, whose folk-blue-rock has long been a Dusty’s favorite, often packing the place while they play in the “big green booth.” Nikki’s clarion voice and Rich Rue’s terrific fretwork are always a treat, with the added delight of guitarist Dean Mikkelson often sitting in to accompany Nikki on a jazz standard or two.

Saturday, Dec 23

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) You say you want to hear some heady, sometimes inscrutable lyrics, performed with cool, jazzy pop? Then this Steely Dan Tribute Band may deliver just what you need.

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Vocalist/pianist/guitarist Parker has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the Pre-Christmas Saturday night crowd at Crooners. She’s been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, and represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society.

Sunday, Dec 24

Enjoy Christmas Eve!

Monday, Dec 25

Christmas With Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Get your gospel groove on with the highly popular and one-of-a-kind Robinson, who gets rave reviews wherever he appears. Some examples: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal called him “a volcanic talent,” while the Salt Lake City Desert New called his performance “glorious,” and the Star Tribune described him as a “soaring presence.”

Tuesday, Dec 26

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Louisiana-born Willie West is a classic soul singer who recorded for Allen Toussaint with the score for the blaxploiotation film Black Samson, and later worked with The Meters in the late 70s and early 80s. He then worked all over Bourbon Street until Hurricane Katrina, after which he moved to Saint Cloud, where he currently lives. In the last few years he’s recorded with some Finnish funk/soul groups (see video), and still has the vocal prowess and emotional power that makes a soul singer a soul singer.

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.


Thanksgiving Music: 11.25 – 12.1

November 25, 2015

Greetings to all;

On Thursday, many will be thankful for Mashed Potatoes

On Thursday, many will be thankful for Mashed Potatoes

The listing is a little light this week, but still capable of lifting your spirit and reminding you of that for which you are thankful, which may include certain foods that are part of the day. And at this point, many of us may be reminded that we have much to be thankful about. However, events of the past few weeks also remind us that we have a way to go to reach the ideals that are celebrated with Thanksgiving. I am certainly thankful to have many of you in my life on a regular basis. And though I say it most every week, I discovered once again that it is absolutely true that music has the power to lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 25

Jay Young and the Advisory Committee @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Depending on whether or not you’re hosing Thanksgiving, you may have the time and inclination to hear some new music. Tonight, bassist Jay Young picks up the piccolo bass once again, and leads a group consisting of: Gary Raynor, bass; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, November 25, 26, 27

Davina and the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (Wed, Thurs), 8pm (Fri) $15) After being absent from the local scene all summer due to touring, Davina and the guys come back with a vengeance for this three night gig, which is certainly a rarity these days. Whether you’re pre or post the big dinner, Davina’s stirring vocals and the unabashed energy of the Vagabonds will get you jumping in your seats, if not elsewhere.

Friday, November 27

All kinds of swing dancers turn out at the Caves

All kinds of swing dancers turn out at the Caves

Swingbeat Big Band @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Moved from Thursday night this month, Swing Night at the Caves features the Swingbeat Big Band. You’ll see folks of all ages out on the dance floor. Bring dancing shoes, keep them clean, and no bare feet on the floor.

Paul Harper Chordless Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist Paul Harper leads Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Tom Lewis Bass; and Matt Buckner, drums.

Levi Schwartzberg Project @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young vibist and pianist Levi Schwartzberg gathers some like-minded musicians to perform Schwartzberg’s originals and, I’m assuming, some jazz standards. Beside Levi, the group includes: Thomas Stromman, tenor; Jackson Mullet, trumpet; Drew Stinson, bass; and Benjamin Beyene drums.

Saturday, November 28

Jazz @ Barely Brothers Records, 783 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul. Noon – 5pm. (Free) Owners Mike and Spencer are doing a good job of finding ways to bring folks into their vinyl emporium. Today, bassist Adam Linz (a part-time worker at the store) brings in four groups to play, including the Dominican Crisis Quintet at noon; Ted King at 1pm; the “Pony Show Edition” of Le Percheron at 2pm, and The Dakota Combo at 3pm. The show is free, but you may be very tempted to purchase of something from the store.

Pat Mallinger @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($12) Alto saxophonist Pat Mallinger returns to his home town for a regular gig while visiting family. He’s always appeared at the Artists Quarter in the past, so it’s appropriate for him to play the Vieux. Tonight he’ll be joined by Chris Lomheim, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. Mallinger lives in Chicago, and his late night gig at the Green Mill there has been going on for 20 years or so, and recently featured on Christian McBride’s Jazz Night in America. Here’s a video from an AQ performance of a few years back.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar) First up is Steve Kenny’s Group 47, able to play because pianist Will Kjeer is back in town for the holiday. Followed at 8:30pm by Dave King’s Vector Families, one of the drummer’s many bands: Dean Granros, guitar; Anthony Cox, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Peg Carrothers @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Vocalist Peg Carrothers is celebrating the US release of her album Edges of My Mind, which has already been released in France and has sold over 1000 copies, which is quite good for a jazz release in this download era, especially in one country.  She’ll be joined by husband and pianist Bill Carrothers, as well as Dean Magraw, guitar and mandolin; and Billy Peterson, bass. This is part of the Jazz at Studio Z series, and as always, there will be a master class at 6pm, where Peg will discuss being the Singer in the Band. Attend the master class and the concert is only $10. Here’s something from the album.

Monday, November 30

Pat Martino Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($20) Guitarist Martino began playing professionally after he dropped out of 10th grade in Philadelphia to play in that city’s burgeoning rock scene, touring with organist Charles Earland,m and recruited by Lloyd Price to play in his band. He played in the organ trios of Jack McDuff and Don Patterson, as well as with organ groups led by Willis Jackson. After suffering from a severe brain aneurysm, he could hardly remember anything, including his parents, and his ability to play. The award winning guitarist learned to play again by listening to and playing along to his own recordings. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Pat Bianchi, Hammond organ; and Carmen Intorre, drums.

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, November 25

Nikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Nikki and the Rue-Mates are deserving of a wider audience for their Sixties style Folk-Rock and Folk-Blues, filtered through a much younger generation. Besides Nikki on vocals and guitar, the Rue-Mates are Rich Rue, guitar; Jon Olson, bass; and Jimmy Tollesrud, drums. I don’t know if all four will show up for the radio show, but they’ll be on stage for the 5th or 6th Thanksgiving Eve show in a row. Here they are sans drummer.

imagesA Tribute to Joe Cocker @ Pepito’s Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Forty-five years after Joe Cocker made his Twin Cities appearance at what is now First Avenue, a bunch of Sterling musicians, including Mick, take the stage in this show. Featuring, besides Mick, 13 other musicians, including Bobby Vandell and Scott Sansby among 4 drummers, Melanie Rosales and Cate Fiero on vocals, Billy Franze on guitar, and Serge Akou on bass.  Word on the street is that this is a hot show.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Clarke, winner of six Minnesota Music Awards, leads the Working Stiffs through some jump blues, swing, and a bit of jazz. Here they are doing an old Cab Calloway number.

Thursday, November 26

The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Work off those turkey blues with the Twin Cities best blues band, and the guests that show up each week. If you can dance in tight spaces, you may even be able to work off some mashed potatoes.

Friday, November 27

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) It’s the third anniversary for Ted and Jennifer Wilebski, and Jimmi & the Band of Souls will provide the soundtrack for the party: high energy blues, R&B, and a touch of gospel.

Pat Donahue @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This Grammy winning fingerpicking guitarist with a pleasant voice will be joined by Dan Newton on accordion, and Gary Raynor on bass. I’m thinking there will be more band members to fill out the sound.

The Silvertones @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Here’s a show for baby boomers and others who want to dance but don’t don’t want to make a big deal of going out. The funky, comfortable Southside tavern might be considered a dive, but it’s too well cared for. The Silvertones are a 60s cover band, plain and simple, with a repertoire that ranges from Girl Groups to the Byrds, to Steppenwolf to Stax Soul. Add in the inexpensive drinks, a few friends, and you’ve got a recipe for a fun evening.

Saturday, November 28

Louis Prima Jr & the Witnesses @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Though your first reaction might be “What the?” this sounds like it could be much fun. Yes, Prima is the only son of the Wild Man of Las Vegas, and yes, his act draws upon his paternal heritage, but Prima also has a background in rock, having led a Las Vegas band called Problem Child in the 80s and early 90s. He began performing the music of his Dad in 1995, and until 2010, juggled that with a full-time job. Then he took up performing full time in 2010, and after a successful appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, released his first album, Return of the Wildest, in 2012, which was followed last year by Blow. He’s got 8 musicians in the Witnesses, and according to Nick Spitzer, of American Roots, he has, “a sense of honor, of joy; a sense of being Louis Prima’s son, but also a sense of self.”

High and Mighty @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) This eleven-piece horn band has a repertoire that ranges from Joe Cocker and classic Motown, to Kool & the Gang, The Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, and Amy Winehouse. Bring your dancing shoes.  Here’s a video with a number of samples of their work.

Jimi Hendrix Remembered @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) This tribute show has been going on for 23 years now. Tonight’s extravaganza features such mighty performers as Billy Franze, Julius Collins, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Jellybean Johnson.

Sunday, November 29

The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 1am – 3pm (Free) Nye’s house band began in 1975, which makes it older than many of its fans. It brings its polkas, waltzes, foxtrots, and more to Saint Paul on the last Sunday of every month for brunch, which includes Polish brunch items and sausages from Kramarczuks.

Monday, November 30

Daddy Squeeze and some of his friends

Daddy Squeeze and some of his friends

Daddy Squeeze & Friends @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) There’ll be spinning, dipping, and two-steps galore at this bi-weekly Cajun/Zydeco dance. Master of the “Stomach Steinway” Dan Newton will bring along some of his pals to provide the beats and melodies for dancers.

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.

 


Inside and Outside – Music: 6.3 – 6.9

June 3, 2015
The stage at Dixie's on Grand

The stage at Dixie’s on Grand

Let the Festival season begin in earnest. This Sunday will feature Grand Old Day, with a variety of artists performing on a number of different stages, as well as a smaller big band festival in Eden Prairie. If not, there is still plenty of great music to enjoy, including visiting artists from England, and some appearances by resident artists who don’t perform too often. Lots of reasons to enjoy music: It lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 3

Southside Big Band @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) It may shower this evening, but that needn’t stop you from enjoying some big band music under the pavilion at Como Park. Plus, you can always step inside to the new dockside and order food and drinks.

Greer & Penny @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fine vocalist Sarah Greer teams up with equally fine guitarist John Penny for some great tunes. Here’s Sarah doing a gospel number.

Friday, June 5

Manzara & Reeve @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Julian Manzara on electric guitar and Robert Reeve on trumpet and flugelhorn, make for an unusual duet. They have been performing jazz standards around town for a couple of years now.

Katie Gearty @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Katie takes a break from her R&B vocalizing with Mick Sterling’s Irresistables, Adam Levy’s Hooker’s $ Blow, and Vital Organ to sing jazz and more at the Bloomington lounge/restaurant.

Paul Harper’s Show & Tell @ the Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) You may know Harper from his performances with the Illicit Sextet, Charmin & Shapira, or Ginger Commodore. Tonight the saxophonist is joined by Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; Nathan Norman, drums.

Dean Sorenson Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sorenson  trombone; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Milne, tenor; Chris Lomheim, piano; Phil Hey, drums. Sorenson teaches at the U and has played with the Minnesota Orchestra, JazzMN, and the Latin Sounds Orchestra. His supporting band consists of first call players on the Twin Cities jazz scene.

Saturday, June 6

King enjoying himself

King enjoying himself

Dave King’s PBR Street Gang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Hoo boy, this group only plays a few times a year, so this is a great occasion to catch some of the Twin Cities’ finest players. Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King  drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Anthony Cox, bass and cello.

 

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s another double bill of powerhouse jazz at Lowertown’s community meeting place. Opening at 7pm is bassist Ted Olsen and his Group. Then at 8:30pm it’s the Five: Dave Karr, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Ryan Hays, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. The members of this inter-generational group range in age from 20s to 80s, making for some exciting music.

Sunday, June 7

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

25th Annual Festival of Jazz on the Praire @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 9pm (Free) A cornucopia of big bands, just the thing for a Sunday afternoon.  2pm: Just Friends Big Band; 3pm: Acme Jazz Company; 4pm: Ben in the River Big Band; 5pm: Good News Big Band; 6pm: River City Jazz Orchestra; 7pm: Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

Monday, June 8

Paul Mazzacano & the Mazz Jazz Juggernaut @ Town Green Amphitheater, Maple Grove. 8 – 10pm (Free) Mazzacano is a percussionist/drummer arranger composer, and educator, whose credits range from the Dorseys and Charlie Barnett to Roy Eldridge, Liberace, Elvis Presley, Broadway productions and staff work for both CBS and NBC networks. Not sure of the Juggernaut, but judging by the name, and the fact that Mazzacano has composed of number of pieces for orchestra, it could be a large, and exciting, group.

Eric Wangensteen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This trumpeter has toured with Bette Midler, released four CDs played in over 20 countries. Though a graduate of the UofM at Duluth, you may not know of hims, since he spends his winters playing in Uruguay, recently playing with paquito D’Rivera for three years at the Uruguay International Jazz Festival.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Here is a group that always has a good time on stage. Their level of communication with each other is just about telepathic. Bates, bass; Dave hagedorn, vibes; Phil Hey, drums.

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, June 3

Andy Cohen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cohen is a virtuoso guitar player and folklorist from Memphis who mines a number of different blues traditions, and has gained fans throughout the country, including many of this area’s fingerpickers. He’s also a great storyteller, having written about many of his musical heroes, and toured with old masters such as Martin, Bogan, & Armstrong, Rev. Gary Davis, and Honeyboy Edwards. It’s a treat to have him stop in town.

Thursday, June 4

World Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Well crafted pop from a band which has been around since their 1986 hit Ship of Fools.  Frontman Karl Wallinger experienced an aneurysm in 2001, but after some rehabilitation and hard work is back. Critics all seem to agree that Wallinger manages to be a lyrical as some of our best songwriters, such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Dylan.

Claudia Schmidt & Dean Magraw @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 + tax) It’s a birthday celebration for the celebrated folk/jazz singer Ms Schmidt  and once again, she has the supple guitar of Dean Magraw for support. It’s always fun when these two long-time compadres get together. For example:

Friday, June 5

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Mendota Square, The Village of Mendota Heights. 6pm (Free) Clarke is one of those saxophonists that most R&B bands welcome to sit in and add some punch to proceedings. He and the Working Stiffs play dance music from the 30s to the 50s, including things from Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Bill Haley, and Elvis.

Graham Parker & The Rumour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65) In the late 70s, Parker broke out of the pub rock scene in England, combining the energy and spark of punk rock with his love for American R&B. Two of his albums with the Rumour are in Rolling Stones’ Top 100 Albums of all time from 1987. Parker favorite Lowell Thompson opens.

Lonseome Dan Case and The Dieselfitters @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Lonesome Dan, the picture of a 30s itinerant guitar player, opens. The Dieselfitters are purveyors of rockabilly, roots rock, and honky tonk music: Clay Williams, guitar/vocals; Dan Peterson, bass/vocals; and Mike Sandell, drums.

Pop Wagner & the Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) It’s an old-timer evening at the West Bank dive bar. The Bumpers will perform Jug band music. Pop Wagner will perform old cowboy music, as well as some country and pop tunes, and then they’ll perform together.

Saturday, June 6

Charlie Lawson & the Natural Born Lovers @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Mike and Spencer, the “barely brothers” are once again enticing record buyers into their store with some free music, this time by long time Twin Cities guitarist/vocalist Lawson and his band.

Grateful Red @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. (Free) This horn-driven funk/rock/pop band will provide the backdrop for your picnic in the area just north of the bandshell, or you can get closer and sit on benches and simply enjoy the music (dancing may occur).

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpist Harold gathers up a few of his very talented friends for an evening of rompin’ stompin’ blues.

Jarrod Lawson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($25/$20 Advance) “The Hottest New Talent to hit soul music in at least ten years.” That’s what some English magazines have said about blue-eyed soulster Lawson  whose debut at Ronnie Scott’s was sold out and then broadcast on a live web stream. He’ll be playing with some of the Petersons – St. Paul on bass, Ricky on keys, and JP DeLaire on sax, as well as other special guests

Sunday, June 7

Music @ Grand Old Day, Saint Paul. 12:30 – 4:30pm (Free) You can kick off summer and experience a variety of bands at the Midwest’s biggest one day festival. Highlights include Charlie Parr (12PM) and Erik Koskinen (2:15pm) at Dixie’s on Grand; The Cactus Blossoms (12:30pm) and Crankshaft (2pm) at Walgreens;  and country party guy Tim Sigler at the Wild Onion at 3pm. There are other bands as well, and if you want to listen while enjoying adult beverages in the Festival Gardens adjoining each stage you’ll need a wristband ($8).

Cooker John @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) Guitarist and folk/blues musician Cooker John learned to pick from Artie Traum back in 60s New York. Since then he’s been in a variety of bands around the country, but has performed solo (sometimes with an accompanist) since 1990.

Monday, June 8

Hunker’d Down Blues Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) It’s Blue Monday at Rice Park, but that doesn’t mean you have to be blue. Take a break and enjoy this five-piece while chowing down on lunch.

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


Back from the Brink. Music: 10.16 – 10.22

October 16, 2013

imagesIf you, like me, have had enough of the hyperventilating chattering class, going on and on about the machinations in DC, then you can relax by going out and listening to some music – always good for lifting the spirits. On a more positive fiscal note, many of you may have joined KBEM during it’s recent pledge drive. Well, KFAI is now up and asking for your support as well. In particular I’d be thrilled if some of you would make a pledge to my Saturday morning show: Rhythm and Grooves. You can do it on Saturday by phoning in during the show (612-375-9030) or you can go online and make a pledge here. Mention Rhythm and Grooves in the comments section. KFAI (Fresh Air Radio) is a community station that provides a refreshing alternative to commercial radio. All of the program hosts volunteer their time and efforts. Thank you. end of commercial.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 16

UnknownLucia Newell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lucia is one of the Twin Cities’ pure jazz singers. She can scat, compose, and sing with the best of them. And, if fact, she has some of the best of them to accompany her:Tanner Taylor, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. And oh yes, as regulars know, Vanessa shows up with $2 tacos and cake for late night noshing whilst listening.

Thursday, October 17

McNally X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) Listen to some young players in a large-ish band, with no cover charge.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The multi-reed octogenarian can still blow a mean sax, and throw in a wise quip as well. Bebop for these times, tempered with some beautiful melodies.  Here’s a hint of what he sounds like.

Friday, October 18

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Her sweet, yet clarion voice will carry over the crowd at Hell’s Kitchen, but I’d still recommend sitting at the bar or closer to fully appreciate her way with a tune.

George Marich Jazz Quartet @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, East Lake Street, Minneapoils. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zeke’s seems to be finding under the radar groups to play its room. Tonight’s group is such a case. Though I’ve not seen Marich, I can tell you he’s a drummer who has studied with Dave King, and recorded and studied with Anthony Cox. Burgers, pizzas, a nice selection of beer, and some jazz. Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.

525828_419758354760810_495163577_nCafe Societe @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) French Cafe music and bossa novas, along with some American pop and jazz, sung by Amelia Rivera with accompaniment by Mark Chergosky, keyboards; and Mike Chergosky,  mandolin and viola, all in the intimate confines of the Hat Trick’s music room.

Friday, Saturday, October 18, 19

Foreign Motion CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. ($15) Jazz funk/fusion from some of the bright lights of the Twin Cities jazz scene: Cory Washington, guitar; Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; and Peter Janjic, drums. Together, they have a wealth of experience with various national artists in various and sundry jazz, funk, gospel, and pop outfits. Check out this video.

Saturday, October 19

Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($7). There’s some considerable talent at work here, from the lithe vocals of Ammons to Dean Brewington, sax; Tim Zhome, drums; Tom West, keyboards; and Ron Evaniuk, bass. Expect standards, bossas, and the occasional blues.

Kelly Rossum Quartet + Marimba @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $15 students/seniors)  It’s been a while since Rossum left the Twin Towns for other environs, so it’s great to have him, his trumpet, and his sly approach to music back. He’ll be accompanied by some of his former bandmates: JT Bates, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Bryan Nichols, piano; as well as Annie Stevens, Marimba. Dr. Annie Stevens is Professor of Percussion at Virginia Tech. The concert will include all new music composed by Rossum to show off the unique sound and percussive properties of the marimba. Here’s a video of Rossum & Stevens.

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, October 16

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm – 9pm (331 – Tip jar) Minnesota’s favorite country blues troubadour shows up for the station’s pledge drive. Parr’s fans go way beyond the Midwest – He’s had songs featured in an Australian ad and a tv show. Whether he’s playing a 12 string guitar or a resonator, he’ll capture your imagination.

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5-$10) Looking for the kind of music to which you can do the Lindy, West Coast Swing, and other fun dances? Well, saxman Clarke is just the guy to deliver. Add in the wooden dance floors at the Eagle, and your in jump jive heaven.

Friday, October 18

Courtney Yasminah CD Release Party @ Bunkers, Minneapoils. 9pm ($6) This alt pop/rocker uses clever lyrics, fire in her gut, and head-bopping, toe-tapping arrangements to showcase her imaginative writing.

Friday, Saturday, October 18, 19

Dave Mason @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) The Dakota continues it’s winning programming of bringing in artists that appeal to boomers, Gen X-ers and younger folk. Tonight it’s Dave Mason, originally of Traffic, whose songs like 40,000 Headmen, and Feelin’ Alright were background for many a stoner party in the early 70s. His solo hits included Only You Know and I Know, and his biggest, We Just Disagree. He played with all the heavies, and even did an album with Mama Cass.

Saturday, October 19

Food Truck Rally @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (free before 8pm) Body Omara, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, Charlie Parr, Jeff Ray & the Stakes; After party at 8pm, featuring Big Tree Bonsai. ($5 for afterparty, unless you have a wristband from the day)

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. ($10) The ace guitarist and his hot-blowin harmonic buddy are joined by special guest Hilary Thavis on vocals. And, if you choose, you get to have some mighty fine BBQ.

The Badinovs @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5)  Music inspired by Lennon & McCartney, not Boris & Natasha, or even Rocky & Bullwinkle. Always a treat. Fine for dancing. Opening set at 8:30 by troubadour and inspired tunesmith Mike Ryan, and a short set of music from the Brazilian hinterlands by Os Masters de Amazonia.

Sunday, Monday, October 20, 21

Unknown-1Aimee Mann @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) It’s songwriter night at the Dakota, with a nod towards the 80s in the form of Ms Mann, who led Til Tuesday for three albums, before going solo in the mid 80s. She’s a talented songwriter, whose latest, Charmer, received favorable reviews and it’s videos show a sly humor. Ted Leo, another singer/songwriter, opens.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 22, 23

Still Tuxedoed after all these years

Still Tuxedoed after all these years

Jack Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $55, $45) Still singing after all these years, Jones is from the heyday of tuxedoed crooners in classy nightclubs and still sounds good. Though not as popular as Sinatra or Bennett, he nevertheless won a couple of grammys and sells out theaters around the world.

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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