Summer Songs: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2018

When you play blues in the Sahara Desert

This week’s music highlights include visiting artists from Italy, NYC, Memphis and Mali, as well as some relatively rare performances by some resident artists, and a couple of tributes. We are lucky to live in an area with so many talented artists. Music lifts the Spirit!

Wednesday, August 8

World Jazz Collegium @ Minnehaha Falls Park, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here’s a group that doesn’t play in the Twin Cities very often, so it’s a treat to be able to hear their blend of various world musics and jazz, especially in such a nice outdoor setting. Members are: Pavel Jany, guitar; John Croarkin, sax & flute; Dan Weston, bass; and Beth Varela, drums.

Days of Wine & Roses @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15 – $20) Jennifer Eckes & Arne Fogel tackle Broadway, Hollywood, and Pop Music of the 60s, from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Barbara Streisand, with musical direction by Rick Carlson.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 8,9

Victor Wooten Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) 9:30pm ($25, $30, $35) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner, known for his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck &the Flecktones. He’ll be joined by Bob Franceschini, sax; and David Chambers, drums.

Thursday, August 9

SongSister Sampler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/valid Student ID) Dorothy During, Connie Dussl, & Vicky Mountain will be performing their best songs from three different shows of theirs: “Gettin’ Sentimental,” ” Girl Groups to Golden Ladies,” and their “Holiday Show.” They’ll be recording and videotaping the show, and will be accompanied by pianist Jennifer Parker, who may join them on some numbers.

Friday, August 10

Jana Nyberg 5 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms Nyberg, a fine flautist and singer, will be accompanied by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Sean Turner, piano; Kenny Watson Jr, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here she is with a different configuration.

Omar Abdulkarim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’a a line-up of great talents: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Friday, Saturday, August 10, 11

Bobby Lyle’s Summer Jam @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Keyboard player Lyle is a native Minneapolitan, returning home once again after previously successful gigs at Crooners, though this time he’ll be in the big room. The award-winning, platinum-selling artist will be accompanied by Danny Kusz, sax; Billy Peterson, bass; and Lyle’s fellow Houstonian, Patrick Williams on drums.

Saturday, August 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) JazzINK Youth showcase at 7pm: The August McKinney Octet: McKinney, piano; Carter Pearson, drums; Rodney ruckus, bass; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Eli Zukor-Zimmerman, tenor; Sophia Kickhofel, alto; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; and Eric Thrane, trombone. Then it’s Central Standard Time at 8:30, with Special Guest Rodney Ruckus, drums, Will Kjeer, piano; Dave Brattain, saxes; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass.

Monday, August 13

Music of John Abercrombie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; pay tribute to the great guitarist.

Tuesday, August 14

Music of Lester Young @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Saxophonist Dave Karr and guitarist Sam Miltich, along with some of their friends, will explore the music of The Prez, whose work with Billie Holiday and the Count Basie Band resulted in his being called one of the most influential saxophonist of all time.

Chris Olsen @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30-9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olsen is the guy many guitar students take time to see and/or study with. He’s solo tonight.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 8

Harrison Street on KFAI’s House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer Erin McCawley has a strong, inviting voice that fits in well with the other members of Harrison Street: Tony Houle, guitar; Robb Stearns, bass; and Bill Whelan, drums. Tune into hear em’ and head to the 331 Club to see em’.

Hula Peppers @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Music from the 20s and 30s, along with some Hawaiian string band music, served up with a dash of humor and plenty of talent.

Thursday, August 9

Dany Franchi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5 Advance, $8 Door) This emerging blues guitarist from Italy has already been playing in major festivals around the world. His chart-climbing new release, Problem Child, was produced by Anson Funderburgh, with help from members of both Robert Cray’s and Jimmie Vaughn’s bands.

Friday, August 10

Fathom Lane, Interlake, and Maple & Beech @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Advance/$12 door) With three critically acclaimed albums to their credit, Fathom Lane, led by Michael Ferrier, has created a sound with touches of Gram Parson, the Velvet Underground and Tom Petty coursing through Ferrier’s songs. Members of Fathom Lane are: Ferrier, vocals, guitar, Rhodes, and percussion; Ashleigh Still, vocals and piano; Matt Patrick, electric guitar; Shane Akers, lap steel and dobro; Paul Boblett, bass; and Alex Young, drums and percussion. Opening acts are Interlake, which “takes its sound from the rush of NYC, the open roads of the Midwest, and the sunny coast of LA” and Maple & Beech, a 7-piece art-pop band.

Jaedyn James & The Hunger, w/Planet Pooky @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9PM ($10) With a powerful voice, a take-no-prisoners attitude, and a tight, 8-piece band, Jaedyn James tears up a stage with contemporary R&B. Planet Pooky opens.

Saturday, August 11

Blues, Brew, & BBQs @ Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Plymouth. 3:30pm – 10pm ($12 Advance, $18 Door) Music starting at 4pm with the Mooseknuckle Brothers; Miss Myra & the Moonshiners; Harrison Street; and the Alex Rossi Band. FMI, go here.

Pacific Island Night @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The evening starts with the music of the Lau Hawaiian Collective performing traditional music of Hawaii, then at 8:30, the animated new classic Moana will be screened.

Katy Vernon Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The ukelelist/songwriter/singer is known as a “singer of sad songs on a happy instrument,” but after a couple of trips to England, where Vernon was born and grew up, a happier tone has crept into her music, tho she isn’t abandoning old fan favorites. She’ll be accompanied by her band: Clay Williams, guitar; Simon Husbands, keys; Reed Pagel, bass; and Chris McAtee, drums.

Sunday, August 12

William Bell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($45, $55, $60), 8:30pm ($35, $45, $50) Singer and songwriter Bell is an original soul man who wrote Born Under A Bad Sign for Albert King many years ago, as well as his own recordings of songs like You Don’t Miss Your Water, the top 20 Everybody Loves a WinnerI Forgot to Be Your Lover (later covered by Billy Idol), and the Christmastime favorite, Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday, among others. He won a 2017 Grammy for his fine album, This Is Where I Live.

Tuesday, August 14

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Roots singer and songwriter Janiva Magness has released 14 albums since the early 90s, earning kudos as the BB King Entertainer of the Year, seven Blues Music Awards, and a 2017 Grammy nomination. She’s been lauded by Betty LaVette and Mavis Staples, as well as The Chicago Sun-Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a host of blues magazines.

Tinariwen w/Astralblak @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 Advance, $40 Door) While these desert blues artists were busy criss-crossing the globe to over 160 concerts in the past few years, the borders of Mali, where they grew up amongst goat herds and camels, was closed. As a result, Tinariwen’s latest album, Elwan, was recorded in California with a bit of help from some rockers while still retaining their signature sound. Afro-futurist/acid-jazz group Astrlblak opens.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye

Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

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, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz musicians.

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.

Bossas, Blues, Bebop, and More. 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2012

Photo by Pat Cameron

It may be a gray day outside as this is being written, but the opportunities for listening to music provide a sunny outlook. I know that figure of speech is a stretch, but work with me here. Halloween celebrations will be in full force this weekend, and I’ll let others give you the lowdown on where to see the most outrageous/sexiest/goriest/funniest costumes. Anyway, ffrom large orchestras to duos; from Desert Blues to elegant bossas, you have many choices when it comes to stimulating your brains with music. Have a good week.


Wednesday, October 24

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Here’s a mid-week pick-me-up for jazz fans; just the thing to get you over “hump day.” Drummer Hey leads a group of highly accomplished musicians, whose long-term relationship allows them to communicate almost telepathically to the twists and turns of songs by Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and more. Besides Phil Hey on drums, there is Phil Aaron on piano, Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, October 26

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Ammons is a vocalist with a strong pedigree – her uncle was Gene Ammons, and her grandfather was pianist Albert Ammons. Lila Ammons, however studied and performed classical music before turning to jazz. Read an interview I did with her earlier this year here. She’ll be joined by saxman Dean Brewington, among others.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) There’s a reason she’s one of the area’s favorite vocalists. Whether she’s singing standards, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, or the music of Norman Gimbel, Evingson swings. Tonight she’s backed by a terrific group of musicians: Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr; sax & flute; Terry Burns, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, Saturday, October 26,27

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer Gravatt turned down Miles Davis to play with Weather Report. He’s also played with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and other illustrious jazz folk. Lucky for us he lives in the area, though that doesn’t mean he’s a ubiquitous presence on our jazz scene. He’s joined by Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Gene Rush on piano.

Saturday, October 27

Maurice Jacox @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 1:30 – 3:30pm (free) Take a break this afternoon to hear Jacox apply his considerable vocal skills to soul standards and the Great American Songbook. It’s an intimate affair, and if you’re not going to have a cocktail, you may want to try an egg cream. Just ask that they don’t use ice, in order to get the true flavor.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen at Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 11:30pm (free) Well, it would be good if you ordered a drink or food, which are bound to be well-crafted. Of course the music is well-crafted as well, as Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums; provide music that goes way-beyond the cocktail lounge.

Sunday, October 28

Donald Thomas Birthday Bash & Benefit @ Baystreet Grill and Pub, 731 Randolph, Saint Paul. 3:00pm – 7:00pm ($10 Donation)  The donation includes a free drink and a free taco bar. Lincoln Berry on organ will be leading a trio. Thomas had open heart surgery this summer, so this is the perfect time to celebrate the singer and drummer and help raise some funds to help him through his recovery.

Monday, October 29

Chris Bates Red5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) It’s the Jazz Implosion at Icehouse, tonight featuring the music of Chris Bates, notably from the group’s CD, New Hope. The group features Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax. Brother JT on drums rounds out the group.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 30, 31

Maria Schneider Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($60 – $40) Nineteen musicians on the Dakota stage, with two Grammys and nine nominations. Whatever I can say about Schneider, who is originally from Windom, would pale in comparison to the raves she has received for her compositions.

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 27

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric Does Brian Eno @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis 7pm – 10pm. (No cover) Wow! Clouser’s electric guitar playing has enthralled audiences from Prague to New York to our own Twin Cities. Tonight he’s interpreting the music of Brian Eno, from ambient scores to the Talking Heads and way beyond. Good food and cocktails as well. Just be sure to ask for a table near the music.

Friday, October 26

Trio Bossa Nova @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) For those of you in the Western suburbs, the tiny 318 Cafe offers a chance to hear music up close and personal. Guitarist Pavel Jany leads this subset of Ticket to Brasil in a program of sultry bossa novas and originals. You may want to get a reservation.

Mother Banjo @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Charmingly dark songs, along with some bluegrass gospel, make up the repertoire of Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley of KFAI’s Womenfolk.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 26, 27, 28

Barebones Puppet Extravaganza @ Hidden Falls Park, Saint Paul 7pm. (donation) Spectacle. Larger-than-Life Puppets. Stilting, Fire, Song & Dance. The annual extravaganza is equal parts entertaining and thoughtful, including a public naming ceremony, where the audience is invited to honor the memories of those who have passed by saying their names out loud. The Brass Messengers will be playing afterward on Friday and Sunday. A Ukranian band will play on Saturday.

Saturday, October 27

Everett Smithson Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm. ($?) Everett & Kathy Smithson and their band play the kind of party music you might hear in Southern Louisiana: a bit of swamp, zydeco, blues, and rockabilly. Backing them up is a team of veteran Twin Citizens: Phil Schmid on guitar, Jeremy Johnson on drums, and Bill Black on upright bass. Early birds may want to take advantage of Wilebski’s free buffet from 5pm – 7pm.

Tinariwen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Formed in the Southern Sahara Touareg rebel camps about 30 years ago, this Grammy-winning group uses electric guitars to create trance-like, blues-laden sounds to back their poetic lyrics about he lives of Touareg refugees. Tinariwen has earned praise from Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana, among others. Call it Desert Blues or Desert Rock, their hypnotic sounds will draw you in and have you clapping along. Here’s a video of them.

Sunday, October 28

Malone Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Dave Malone (of the Subdudes) and Russell Malone (of the Radiators) are touring together after the Radiators have broken up and while the Subdudes are on hiatus. This is New Orleans rock at it’s best – a mixture of blues, zydeco, and country roots.

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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