Music for Lovers and More: 2.10 – 2.16

February 10, 2016
Making a mixtape - once very romantic in some circles

Making a mixtape – once very romantic in some circles

If you want to treat your Valentine to more than a mixtape, there are a plethora of Valentine’s Day events this week, including one or two that recognize anti-Valentine sentiments. Some of them feature dinners, which certainly ups the cost, but then, Valentine’s Day is special – just ask greeting card and candy companies. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of other opportunities to hear some great music around town. I’ve just scratched the surface with these ideas. Music lifts the spirit!


Wednesday, February 10

Mary Louise Knutson/New Shoes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5 after 8pm) Sublime solo piano from Ms Knutson during the dinner hours, followed at 8pm by the former Guys All Star Shoe Band from Prairie Home Companion. They’ll be stretching out from their radio gig, as Richard Kriehn, fiddle and mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass; Joe Savage, pedal steel guitar; and Peter Johnson on drums present originals, Americana, and perhaps a few jazz tunes.

Chris Bates @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates is playing a series of monthly dates at Jazz Central with Joe Strachan, piano; and Matt Buckner, drums; in anticipation of recording their originals live and releasing them digitally within the next few months.

Thursday, February 11

Mack Avenue Super Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Mack Avenue Records has been featuring a band of its recording artists at the Detroit Jazz Festival for the last few years. Now we get to hear them in our own town. Listen to this lineup. First off, you have the Christian McBride Trio with Christian Sands, piano; and Carl Allen, drums. Add in Gary Burton, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; and Tia Fuller, sax;  and you do indeed, have a Super Band.

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Mendis performs jazz, r&b, pop, blues, and international songs. She’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass; Jon de Vaal drums; and Tim Graham, piano.

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) Here’s a chance for folks in the western suburbs to hear the incredible artistry of guitarist Magraw and pianist Hobert. Between Hobert’s flights of fancy, and Magraws sonic improvisations, this should be a winning performance.

Lila Ammons @ The Bad Waitress, 2 East 26th Street, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Andy Cohen, owner of the Bad Waitress, is also a guitarist, and he’s brought Ammons in once before. He’ll be accompanying the vocalist, along with Peter Schimke,keys; and Jim Chenowith, bass.

Friday, February 12

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The old Nicollet Cafe has been relaunched as the Reverie, but it still features jazz on Friday nights. Tonight it’s No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Sit in the lounge and enjoy the oh so cool, yet evocative vocals of Ms Hixson.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Pianist Schimke has toured, performed, and/or recorded with artists such as Billy Preston, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Frank Morgan, and many, many, more. Here he is in a quartet setting.

Saturday, February 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Word Jazz is a different kind of show for this series, featuring musical improvisation and poetry, a combination that’s been around almost as long as jazz itself. The band consists of Chris Bates, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax; Greg Schutte, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Will Jensen. The poets are Jim Larson, Amy Nash and Richard Broderick. Starts at 7:00 with an instrumental set, and then the headliner sets will add the poets.

Saturday, Sunday, February 13, 14

The Crosby Clooney Story @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday,  3pm Sunday ($20) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were best of friends. They starred in White Christmas in 1954, did three duo albums together, and performed in concert together. She was a frequent guest on his TV shows, and they hosted the Crosby Clooney show in 1960 and ’61. Crooner Arne Fogel is a well respected authority on Crosby, and often performs with Maud Hixson. They’ve done this show before to appreciative audiences, and you have two chances to catch it.

Sunday, February 14

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30pm (Dinner Show), 7:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners have put together a special show for Valentine’s Day. At 5:30, Debbie Duncan will appear in the Dunsmore Room. You’ll have to order dinner to hear her there. However, at 7:30pm she’ll move to the lounge, where there is no cover, and dancing will occur.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (3 Course Dinner Show: $50 – $55) Whether Nyberg is singing a pop ditty about buying romaine for her partner, or caressing a ballad like The Nearness of You, she imparts a youthful, and lively enthusiasm for romance, which makes her a perfect performer for couples wanting a special evening for Valentine’s Day.

Monday. February 15

Lucia Sarmiento @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Sarmiento is a saxophonist from Peru who has been studying at McNally Smith for the past couple of years and has been appearing around town in various groups. tonight, she’ll lead her own band. Here’s a promo video of her and her band.

The Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.9:30pm ($8) First set: Witch Hunt: a Tribute to Wayne Shorter, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; Adam Harder Nussbaum, drums; Michael Shulte, sax. Second set: Deveraux/Bates Duo: Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, February 16

Bill Carrothers @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Call it coincidence if you will, but Carrothers  a wonderful, almost luminous pianist, is now playing this room for the third time since it opened a couple of months ago. The clarity of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorfer piano, and the attentive quiet of the listening room audience, are no doubt part of the room’s appeal.

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, February 10

Jon Rodine with Paul Bergen and Friends @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine is an under-appreciated singer of Blues, Americana, and R&B whose last album of originals, Last Star, has been getting some notice around the country. He’ll be joined by guitarist/vocalist Paul Bergen and his band. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton will be join them along with Becky Kapell, and Max Ray on saxophone.

Thursday, February 11

Siama’s Afrobilly @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Once again, percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings the singing guitar of Siama Matuzungidi to his Thursday afternoon acoustic gig. Matuzungidi’s guitar is featured on a number of soukous hits out of Africa. He’s played on four continents for a wide variety of audiences, all of whom have swayed to the sound of his evocative guitar. Dallas Johnson will join in on percussion and occasional vocals.

Friday, February 12

What’s Love Got To Do With it @ the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations accepted) A Valentine revue, led by Richard Broderick, with a cast of actors, poets, singers, storytellers, and belly dancers, with guest appearances by such famous romantics as Lord Byron and Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 13

Maurice Jacox Valentine’s Event @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Reservations are always recommended for this intimate venue, which reminds me of a midtown Manhattan bar in the 60s. Tonight, the sterling vocalist will be accompanied by two excellent guitarists: Bobby E, who may add some backing vocals from time to time, and Deano Mikkelson.

14th Annual Carnaval Brasileiro @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30 Advance, $40 Door) It’s a masquerade ball, complete with Brazilian music, drummers, professional samba dancers from Sao Paulo, and artisans. New this year is the addition of Badi Assad, who will also be appearing at the Dakota tomorrow night (see below). Here’s an example of what you might encounter.

The Badinovs @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  10pm (No Cover) This Beatles-inspired group hasn’t played out in almost a year, and it’s taken a wedding reception (open to the public) for Larry & Rachel Becker to get them on stage. There will be two or three other bands during the evening, which starts at 7pm. Word is a very special guest will play before the Badinovs. Whether you know the Beckers or not, you can take part in the reception. No gifts are needed, and you sure won’t hear the Hoky Poky or the Cha Cha Slide.

Lady Heat - They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat – They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” Dance Party @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Three lady Deejays spinning vinyl. Though the evening will be rooted in soul and funk, they are conversant with other genres and are sure to mix up “love” and “anti-love” jams for your dancing pleasure.

Sunday, February 14

The Love Show: Deluxe Edition @ O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s, Saint Paul. 3pm ($28) Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt, and Dane Stauffer in a show that recalls the Saturday Night Variety shows from the early days of television. Here’s a recording of Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.

Willie Walker and We “R” at There Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm (No cover) Walker has been nominated for three Blues Awards for his outstanding album, If Nothing Ever Changes. His sandpaper voice gives a bit of oomph to the more romantic songs that he sings, like You Send Me. Word is, that Maurice Jacox will be joining on baritone sax for a few numbers.

Badi Assad @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm (4 Course Dinner Show: $102); 9pm (Cocktail Show: $42)  Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist, who was most recently in town at the Cedar Cultural Center las Fall. 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. Twin Cities guitarist Robert Everest opens.

Music By Lovers 6th Annual Valentine’s Show @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 6pm ($30/couple) Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger came up with this  concept of couples performing romantic tunes for couples. Featuring, Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Deb Brown & Brian Z; Peter Hennig & Rachel Holder-Hennig; and Tamara & Phil Barnett. The cover includes a sweet tasting and a glass of wine.

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

Victorian Poetry Slam @ James J. Hill House, 240 Summit, Saint Paul. 6pm, 7:30pm ($12) Classic 19th Century poetry performed in the drawing room of the mansion overlooking downtown Saint Paul. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly will be dressed in 1890s evening wear. Audience members are invited to bring along a Victorian poem to read aloud. Light refreshments and tours of the house will follow the performance.

Monday, February 15

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($30, $35) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and played the Grand Ol’ Opry, as well as having appeared on Praire Home Companion.

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


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.


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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