TC Jazz Fest and More: 6.21 – 6.27

June 21, 2017

Greetings everyone;

It’s the big weekend for jazz fans as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday through Saturday. Great headliners and about 300 resident artists will be appearing on stages all over town. Besides Mears Park, Rice Park, and the Union Depot, downtown venues include the Black Dog Cafe, Golden’s Deli, the Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), the Hat Trick Lounge, The Amsterdam, and others. Don’t forget the piano-centric acts at Vieux Carré, with its late night jam, and the stage in the tpt building featuring vocalists all weekend. There are also performances at venues outside of downtown at venues like the Como Dockside and the Episcopal homes. I’ve got the link to the schedule below. Fans of blues and roots also have reasons to be happy, as I’ve listed. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 21

Lee Engele @ The Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7pm (Free) A preview gig for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Vocalist Engele has a particularly good way with acoustic swing aka gypsy jazz, though she handles standards and the occasional bossa nova with elegance and ease, especially with such stellar accompaniment as Reynold Philipsek on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass. .

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pedalty’s voice has just a bit of an edge, which she often uses to give a slyly sardonic reading to the Great American Songbook, though she’s adept at pop as well. She’ll be accompanied by her dad Bruce, a veteran of the Senders, Mojo Buford, and several area big bands, as well as Gary Miller on bass.

Christian Sands @ The Dakota, Minneapolls. 7pm ($20) Sands is an up and coming pianist who has already arrived in some sense. He’s been a key member of Christian McBride’s Trio for a number of years, was nominated for five Grammys, and was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor. He recently released his debut recording, Reach.

JT Bates Grain Trio @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul 8:00pm ($6) Get your B3 organ fix as drummer Bates brings Kevin Gasonguey, B3, and Zacc Harris, guitar, to the basement club. Things will be cookin!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23, 24

Twin Cities Jazz Festival  @ Saint Paul locations. (Free) It’s about the most anticipated event of the year for area jazz fans, though fans of R&B, funk, and world music also get to hear some of their favorite bands for free. You can find the schedule here. Needless to say, headliners Anat Cohen, Terrance Blanchard, McCoy, and others are well worth your while, but get to Mears Park early to also hear folks like Emmet Cohen, Bobby Lyle, and our own Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code in opening slots. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase at Union Depot has been expanded to both Friday and Saturday, with the McNally Smith Vocal Ensemble headlining on Friday, and the Dakota Combo headlining on Saturday.

Friday, Saturday, June 23, 24

Django Festival All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Honoring the “hot jazz” (aka gypsy jazz) of Django Rheinhardt, this sextet brings their own creativity to the swinging style. Author and critic Will Friedwald, said of them, “the collective talent pool on the bandstand is larger than the Arc de Triomphe.”

Sunday, June 25

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ The Church of Saint Albert, East 29th Street & 32 Ave, Minneapolis. 1pm – 3pm ($20) Part of a monthly music series examining the music of the 20, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Today it’s the music of the 1930s. Both vocalist Hixson and pianist Carlson excel at this sort of thing.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you aren’t quite ready to give up the spirit of the jazz fest, you can continue your jazz jones with the ever-inventive guitarist Zacc Harris and his trio.

Monday, June 26

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Cellist Greg Byers leads this quartet: Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums.

Tuesday, June 27

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $45/wDinner) Pianist Johnson lived in the Twin Cities for a few years, entertaining us with his lovely playing. Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been playing a booking jazz. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. He has a unique program for 7-17 year olds called Reach afar, to educate them about elements of jazz in hip-hop.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 27, 28

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. Until the last year or so she was on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them. She’s performed here about twice a year in the last three years and her shows often sell out, or come close to it. Be forewarned.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 21

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Northurp Auditorium Plaza, U of MN, Minneapolis. Noon (Free) Grab a baguette, some cheese and fruit, and if you keep it hidden, perhaps a bottle of wine, and have a picnic while enjoying the music of this “bongos and berets” group, playing French musettes, a cumbia or two, and some old standards.

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Cooker John learned to fingerpick from Artie Traum in NYC during the folk boom of the 60s. Since then he’s traveled the country, has played in numerous bands, and for the past few decades has played solo, or with one or two others. I recall hearing about him playing the Midwest back in the 80s. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Randall Webb, Ben Kaplan, and John Vizard. Listen in and head over to the 331 Club if you want to hear more.

Paul Bergen & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Sound @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7pm (No cover) Honky-tonkin’ swamp country blues from members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtss A’ band and others. This is part of a June residency that takes place in H&L’s lounge.

Jillian Rae & Hannah von der Hoff @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 8pm ($6) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Jillian Rae has a Wednesday night June residency at the Aster, bringing her band along to help while she sings her own originals as well as some tasty covers. Tonight she has guitarist/singer/songwriter Hannah von der Hoff along for the ride. Here’s Hannah!

Thursday, June 22

Mikkel Beckmen w/Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen has slide guitar master Jeff Ray as his guest at this after work gig.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) Soul, R&B, and ballads from a master vocalist.

Jonatha Brooke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooke has released nine albums of literate adult pop and two live discs, all of which were well received by critics if not exactly big sellers, and has used crowd funding on her last two albums. Though born in Boston, and having lived in Los Angeles and New York, Brooke relocated to Minneapolis last year, home to her husband/manager. She’s happy with the move, and has been having fun calling on resident talent to fill her bands here. Tonight, she’ll be accompanied by Kevin Gastonguay on keys; Jeff Bailey, bass; Joey van Phillips, drums; Aby Wolf, vocals; Rebecca Arons, cello; and Sean Driscoll, guitar.

Friday, June 23

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) He was known as Wee Willie Walker during the 60s and 70s Soul Explosion, and still goes by that name on his website, but the name doesn’t account for his sonorous voice, with a bit a whiskey gravel to it, and an interpretive ability that defines soul.

Charlie Parr @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) It’s nine months since this blues vagabond opened the H&L, so apparently it’s time to have him back. Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders open.

Saturday, June 24

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Barbecue, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free) The ribs at Big Daddy’s will get an extra helping of funky soulfulness as the big-voiced blues belter Big George Jackson performs as part of the the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Papa John Kolstand & the Perfect Phitts @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Singer, raconteur, and guitarist Papa John Kolstad brings his wit, wisdom, and sense of fun to Merlins, the best neighborhood bar in Minneapolis. The Phitts are Bill Smith, harmonica and vocals; Gary Powell, National Steel and vocals; and Bill Grenke, bass. There is a reason they’re called the Perfect Phitts as they play seamlessly and perform some three part harmonies.

Sunday, June 25

The Funky United @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) I may be mistaken, but this appears to be a new group, though it’s members have been around for a while: Scott Glaser, bass; Dev Jana, guitar; Chris Kellick, keys; Tim Moran, drums; and Mick Sterling, vocals.. They play original funky soul.

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) It’s the last Sunday of the month, so the Gang once again holds court at the oldest continually operating bar in MN. Today, Papa John Kolstad will be in the hot seat, playing with Bill Greinke, bass; Rena Haus and Dan Schwalbe, guitars; and Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harmonica.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

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Russell Malone: Being Himself

June 24, 2016
Russell Malone between sets

Russell Malone between sets

Self-taught guitarist Russell Malone has a very clean, elegant style, and is equally at home playing ballads or swinging. When he was in his 20s, he joined the band of organist Jimmy Smith, and went on to join Harry Connick Jr.’s big and. He then worked with Diana Krall during much of the 90s and early 2000s, appearing on three Grammy winning albums with her, as well as on Roy Hargove’s Grammy winner Crisol, and on a couple of albums with pianist Benny Green. Malone most recently appeared in the Twin Cities with Ron Carter last Fall. He’s released a dozen albums of his own since 1992, all of which have been well received.

As part of the 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Malone will bring an all-star quartet to Mears Park on Saturday, June 25th, at 6:30pm — Rick Germanson, a frequent visitor to our town on piano, Luke Sellick on bass, and acclaimed drummer Willie Jones III. I had a chance to see Malone and his quartet during the 2015 Jazz Cruise, where he was sitting in with a number of groups in addition to leading his own. He was gracious enough to grant me a few minutes time in between sets. This is a lightly edited version of the interview.

LE: What was your very first musical memory?

RM: Growing up in the church, hearing church music. That was the first music I heard before I got into jazz. My mother had records by groups like the Dixie Hummingbirds, Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers, and just hearing the people in the church sing those songs. It was very moving music. Not sophisticated, but very moving.

LE: What drew you to the guitar?

RM: Hearing the gentleman in my church perform. This old man, that I never got to meet, but I saw him (regularly). Keep in mind that I already had a love and a fascination with music. Even at the age of 4 years old I was aware of the different types of emotions and feelings and reactions that you could get from people through playing music. I was aware of that, which always fascinated me. You could play music and you could connect with total strangers. Somebody you don’t know would hear you and then they laugh, they cry, you get these different types of reactions. That’s so powerful.

The gentleman brought the guitar to church, and I was fascinated by the way that it looked, going to church one Sunday and seeing it perched against one of the pews. This interesting looking object that was totally foreign to me at the time sitting there perched up against the bench, And then there was this cable that extended from the guitar into this box, which was the amplifier. The whole getup was just so fascinating, and then when he started to play and I heard the sound and knew that whatever I was thinking musically, or feeling musically, that would be the vehicle that I would use to express those thoughts or feelings. That’s how I became fascinated with the instrument.

LE: You’ve talked about being a young man and transcribing and playing other people’s solos to learning how to play chords. How did you know you had a sound that was yours?

That’s a good question. I think everybody has their own voice, their own identity. They may not know that when they’re younger, but when you’re younger you want to be validated and you want to be liked. I’ll use myself as an example. There was a period when I felt I needed to play certain types of songs and play things a certain way because I wanted the approval of other people. I wanted them to like me.

After a while, this happened when I reached my mid-thirties, I came to the conclusion that no matter how much I loved my mentors like Wes Montgomery and George Benson, and all the people I grew up listening to, no matter how much I loved them, when it came to being Russell Malone, I’m the best there is. No one can outdo me at being that.

It’s kind of like getting to the point of realizing your parents aren’t perfect. You don’t have to make the same choices that they made. You don’t have to like everything about them. You don’t have to like everything about your heroes. That doesn’t mean that you don’t love them or respect them, but you don’t have to make the same choices in life that they made. That same thing applies to music. You find yourself on stage with some of the guys you came up listening to, like Kenny Burrell or George Benson, if you’re on stage playing with them, what are you going to do, play like them or play like you? Nobody wants to hear that.

LE: How did you know you had reached that point where it was your sound, where it was distinct from others?

RM: Well, once I realized I didn’t have to make the same musical choices, I learned to accept myself. You have to accept yourself warts and all. If anybody else doesn’t like it, that’s not your problem. You can’t let that be your problem. You have to let that be their problem.

LE: Were you doing things in terms of the use of your instrument?

RM: Just playing like me. Just accepting my sound. I’m never going to sound like those guys. You have to accept that. I’m never going to be them, but I am going to be me. I’m the best there is at being me.

LE: Thank you very much for your time. I know you have a full schedule here on the ship.

RM: My pleasure.

 

 


A Short Guide to The 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival

June 22, 2016

3946f1e9-70cb-408a-b402-d6e32360bd80As in the past, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival continues to add stages, notably the Kellogg Stage on Kellogg Boulevard just outside Lowertown, as well as around Saint Paul. This presents the best kind of problem – one of figuring out where to go, so I’ve put together this short guide to a few of the different kinds of performers at the fest. If a band isn’t listed here, it’s not because they aren’t worth seeing. It’s just that with so many bands to choose from, it’s as daunting for me as it is for you. Besides the styles that I listed, you’ll find brass bands, traditional jazz, and post-modern bands.  Look for a copy of the official program at venues around town. It lists performances by stage and time to further help you decide. Don’t be afraid to check out any of the other performers on the bill.  That’s the way you discover someone new.

Blues, R&B, and Funky Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Lowertown/Downtown

8:00pm – No Limits The B-Side Band @ The Hat Trick Lounge

10:30pm Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Outside Downtown

7pm – The Groove Merchants @ Langfod & Karls Chiropractic, Highland

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm – Pho @ Kellogg Park Stage

5:30pm – New Sound Underground @ Union Depot Stage

6:30pm – Hornucopia @ Kellogg Park Stage (Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire tribute band)

7:00pm – LP Music @ Union Depot Stage (Eric Leeds & Paul Peterson from Prince, etc.)

7:30pm – Nooky Jones @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ Kellogg Park Stage

8:00pm – No Limits The B-Side Band @ The Hat Trick Lounge

10:30pm – Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

2:00pm – Apple Valley R&B Band @ Union Depot Stage

5:00pm – Jack Brass Band @ 6th Street Stage

7:00pm – JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Soul Beautiful @ Hat Trick Lounge (double bill w/Alma Andina)

8:30pm – BZ3 Organ Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

10:30pm –  Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Latin and World Music

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm – Jazzoneando @ The 6th Street Stage

7:30pm – Irie Sol @ Rice Park

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm  – Black Market Brass @ Kellogg Park Stage (Afrobeat)

7:30pm – Michael Franti & Speahead @ Kellogg Park Stage

8:00pm – Alma Andina @ Hat Trick Lounge

Youth Jazz

Thursday, June 23

8:00pm – Joey Alexander Trio @ Mears Park Main Stage (He’s almost 13, but a pro)

Friday, June 24

5:30pm – Pip Jazz Foundation Youth Showcase @ Bedlam Lowertown

8:30pm – Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Guitar Duo @ Golden’s Deli

Saturday, June 25

11:00am – Joe’s Jazz Camp @ Union Depot Stage

12:00pm – JAM (Jazz Around Minneapolis) @ Union Depot Stage

2:00pm – Apple Valley R&B Band @ Union Depot Stage

2:00pm – Walker West Music Academy @ Mears Park Main Stage

3:00pm – Iowa Jazz Ambassadors @ Union Depot Stage

4:00pm – Dakota Combo @ Union Depot Stage

5:15pm – Twin cities Honors Vocal Ensemble @ Bedlam Lowertown

Vocalists

Thursday, June 23 

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Debbie Duncan @ TPT Stage

7:30pm – Singer Scat-off @ Golden’s Deli

Outside Downtown

8:30pm – Wolverines with Maud Hixson @ Mancini’s

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

4:00pm – Patty Peterson hosts Jazz Women All-Stars @ Mears Park Main Stage

6:00pm – Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Pippi Ardennia Hosts Women of Jazz @ Bedlam Lowertown

Outside Downtown

2:00pm – Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Episcopal Homes Stage

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

5:15pm – Twin Cities Honors Vocal Ensemble @ Bedlam Lowertown

6:30pm – Lee Engewle & Reynold Philipsek @ Golden’s Deli

7:00pm – JoAnn funk @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Pete Whitman X-Tet w/Lucia Newell @ Union Depot Stage

Mainstream Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Downtown/Lowertown

4:00pm – Dave Brattain Trio @ The Black Dog

6:00pm – Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – Chris Lomheim Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Jon Pemberton Quaret @ SW Craft Bar

8:00pm – Joey Alexander Trio @ Mears Park Main Stage

8:30pm – Jon Wever Trio @ Vieux Carre

10:00pm – Solomon Parham Group @ Bedlam

10:00pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

4:00pm – Dave Karr Quartet @ Union Depot Stage

4:00pm – Jazz Women All Stars, Hosted by Patty Peterson @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – Chris Lomheim Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Larry McDonough Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

8:00pm – Pippi Ardennia Hosts Women of Jazz @ Bedlam Lowertown

8:30pm – Ellis Marsalis Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

10:00pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

10:30pm – Adam Booker Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

Outside Downtown

2:00pm – Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Episcopal Homes Stage

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre

6:00pm – Russell Malone Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – JoAnn Funk Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel

7:15pm – Jon Weber, Francisco Mela & Friends @ 6th Street Stage

8:00pm – Lucia Sarmiento Group @ The Black Dog

8:30pm – John Pizzarelli Quartet @ Mears Park Main Street Stage

10:00pm – Jazz Central All-Stars @ Bedlam Lowertown (two sets)

10:00pm – Kevin Washington Quintet @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

10:00pm – Steve Kenny Quintet @ the Black Dog (two sets)

10:30pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

11:00pm – Phil Hey Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

Guitar Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Downtown/Lowertown

6:00pm – Joel Shapira @ Big River Pizza

10:00pm – Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Golden’s Deli

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Heartland Restaurant

7:15pm – Clearwater Hot Club @ 6th Street Stage

8:30pm – Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Duo @ Golden’s Deli

9:00pm – Zacc Harris Trio @ Public Kitchen & Bar

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

6;00pm – Russell Malone Quartet @ Mears park Main Stage

8:00pm – John Penny Trio @ SW Craft Bar

8:30pm – John Pizzarelli Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

9:30pm – Cory Wong @ SW Craft Bar

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.


Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz
Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory music.

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, June 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.


Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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.


A Short guide to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival: 6.25 – 6.27

June 23, 2015

b97c3ab5-2c00-4bfe-9683-20e679116cc3The Twin Cities Jazz Festival continues to add stages, both downtown and around Saint Paul. It can be daunting to try to figure out where to go, so I’ve put together a short guide to a few of the different kinds of performers you’ll find at the festival. If a band isn’t listed here, it’s not because they aren’t worth seeing. It’s just that with so many bands to choose from, I didn’t want to reconfigure the whole schedule. You can find the full schedule here. Note that some of the bands that I’ve identified as Mainstream may play originals instead of standards, but much of their music has the melodic and harmonic structure of standards. Don’t be afraid to check out any of the other performers on the bill. That’s how you discover someone new.

Blues, R&B, and Funky Jazz

Thursday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

8:30pm – BDP-5Tet @ The Bedlam Theater

10:30pm Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Outside of Downtown

3pm Sena Ehrhardt & Cole Allen @ Big Daddy’s

7pm – Zack Lozier Three @ The Underground Music Cafe (New Orleans)

Friday, June 26

Lowertown/Downtown

6:30pm – BZ3 Organ Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:30pm – Black Market Brass @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall (Afro funk)

10:30pm Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Outside of Downtown

4:30pm – Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s

9pm – Groove Merchants @ Tiffany’s

Saturday, June 27

Lowertown/Downtown

2pm – Jack Brass Band @ CHS Field (Saints Ball Park)

3:30pm – Dr. John @ CHS Field

10:30pm-  Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Outside of Downtown

4:30pm – Detroit Don King @ Big Daddy’s

Latin and World Music

Thursday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

6pm – Tim Kliphuis w/Sam Militich & the Clearwater Hot Club @ Heartland (Gypsy jazz)

7:15 – Salsa Del Sol @ Rice Park

Friday, June 26

Lowertown/Downtown

6pm – Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7pm – John Penny Trio @ Heartland Restaurant

8:30pm – Matra @ Golden’s Deli

8:30pm – Black Market Brass @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Outside of Downtown

7pm – Ticket To Brasil @ Como Dockside Pavilion

Saturday, June 27

Lowertown/Downtown

9:30pm – Tony Marino @ The Hat Trick Lounge

10pm – Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra

Outside of Downtown

7pm – Robert Everst Expedition @ Como Dockside Pavillion

Youth Jazz

Saturday, June 27

10pm – 11:30pm – Master Class with drummer Kevin Washington @ The Bedlam Theater

Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Showcase @ Union Depot

12pm – Joe’s Jazz Camp (Saint Paul Middle School)

1pm  – Jazz Around Minneapolis Jazz Camp

2pm – City Six, from Iowa City

3pm – Yonci & the Footprints, from SW High in Minneapolis

4pm – The Dakota Combo

Vocalists

Thursday, June 25 

Lowertown/Downtown

6pm – Pippi Ardenia @ Mears Park

7pm – JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

8pm – Patty Peterson @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:30pm – Charmin Michelle @ Golden’s Deli

Outside of Downtown

5pm – 7pm – Yolande Bruce & Debbie Duncan @ Arnellia’s

7pm – Arne Fogel & Maude Hixson @ Mancini’s

8pm – Lucia Newell Quartet @ 7th Street Social

Friday, June 26

Lowertown/Downtown

5pm – Jason and the Q – Union Depot

7pm – Jazz Mn Orch w/Patty Peterson

7pm – JoAnn Funk @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

Outside of Downtown

5pm – Debbie Duncan @ Arnellia’s

8:30pm – Lee Engele & Vicky Mountain @ Ngon Bistro

Saturday, June 27

Lowertown/Downtown

6:30pm – Blue-7 Featuring Sarah M. Greer @ The Hat Trick Lounge

7pm – JoAnn Funk @ the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:15 – Debbie Duncan @ 6th Street Stage

8:30pm – Joyce Lyons & Friends @ Golden’s Deli

Outside of Downtown

5pm – Yolande Bruce @ Arnellia’s

Mainstream Jazz 

Thursday, June 25

Downtown/Lowertown

8pm – Jon Weber Trio @ Vieux Carre

10pm Solomon Parham @ The Bedlam Theater

10pm – Illicit Sextet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar

Friday, June 26

Lowertown/Downtown

4pm – Laura Caviani @ Mears Park Main Stage

8:30pm – Potter, Holland, Loueke, Harland @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:15pm – No Room for Squares @ 6th Street Stage

8pm – Jazz Central All Stars @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:30pm – Jon Weber Trio @ Vieux Carre

10pm – Solomon Parham @ The Bedlam Theater

10pm – What Would Monk Do @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar

Outside of Downtown

6pm – Phil Aaron, Steve Pikal, & Phil Hey @ Ngon Bistro

Saturday, June 27

Lowertown/Downtown

4pm – Ted Olsen Quintet @ Mears Park Main Stage

6pm – Marquis Hill Blacktet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7pm – Kevin Washington Quintet @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

7pm – Bottomless Pit @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar

8pm – Javi Santiago Trio @ The Beldam Theater

8pm – Andre Stephani @ SW Craft Bar

8:30pm – Francisco Mela’s Crash Trio w/Nicholas Payton

9pm – Jon Weber Trio @ Vieux Carre

10pm Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar

 


To Dance is to Live! Music: 2.5 – 2.11

February 5, 2014
To live is to dance!

To live is to dance!

Quite the mix of music this week, with bagpipes, slack key guitar, and South African acapella artists coming to town, as well as some outstanding jazz from resident artists, and at least three occasions to polish up your dancing shoes. Stay warm and let the music lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 5
Joel Shapira Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) A quartet of Twin Cities Talent with a capital T. Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Gypsy Mania @ Barbette, Minnbeapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Some late night gypsy jazz from Glen Helgesen and Reynold Philipsek on guitars; Matt Senjem, bass; and Gary Shulte, violin. Just the right music for the French-inspired victuals at Barbette.

Young and old swing out at the Caves

Young and old swing out at the Caves

Thursday, February 6
Moonlight Serenaders @ The Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Join the young folk in swing dancing to the sounds of a big band, featuring the vocals of Lee Engele.

 The Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Trumpeter Geoff Senn and percussionist Mac Santiago have gathered 18 of the area’s top musicians to form this new band. This is an open rehearsal and any donations will be used to get more music for the band. It will be a unique experience.

Friday, February 7

Winter Jazz Break @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is presenting a special night of music. In addition to JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the hotel’s lobby bar, pianist John Weber will be playing in the promenade ballroom. It’s $5 to see John, and, if you wish, you can also donate to the Festival. As usual, the cost of seeing JoAnn and Jeff is dependent on what you order from the bar.

The Bridge @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($10 suggested donation) With the closing of the AQ folks are trying to fill the gap with a Friday night series (The Bridge) featuring many of the musicians that played the AQ. Each week will feature a different cast of musicians. Tonight it’s Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Cory Healey on drums. They’ll be followed at 8pm by the Southside Combo ($5 suggested) being presented as part of the Jazz Police Young Artist Series.
Photo by Andrfea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Bassist Brian Courage and his group bring some young jazz to the late night scene at the Dakota. Besides Brian, the group includes Miguel Hurtado, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Nelson Devereaux on sax.

Friday, Saturday, February 7, 8
Bryan Nichols & James Buckley @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No Cover) There’s no cover, but you be warned that you may need dinner reservations if you want to be close enough to appreciate the artistry of Nichols on piano and Buckley on bass.

Sunday, February 9
Fuzzy Math @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4-6pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Sunday afternoon listening to original jazz from this quartet of Mark Venderhyde, keys; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harold Bondaris, drums.

Monday, February 10
Regional Jazz Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Anthony Cox, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates on drums  – three internationally known artists playing modern jazz. Here’s Cox playing with a couple of other outstanding resident musicians.

Paul Renz Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Paul is an exquisite guitarist who has recorded a half dozen or so well-recieved CDs. He regularly tours the East Coast, teaches as MacPhail, and is head of jazz studies at the West Bank School of Music.

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, and Other…

Wednesday, February 5
George Kahumoku Jr. & Leward Kaapana @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) Ahhh, just what is needed for the dead of winter – a concert of Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukelel music, straight from the Islands. Get out those flowered shirts and dream.

Thursday, February 6
Paul Cebar @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Paul is celebrating the release of Fine Rude Thing, his new release that showcases his ability to mix R&$B, Caribbean, and New Orleans rhythms into an intoxicating blend of danceable music. His fans include folks like Nick Lowe, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Ely, and Los Lobos, not to mention the crowds that come out every time he’s in town. Here he is performing a song from the new CD.

Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 9pm – 11pm (No Cover) Javier and the Sons play the blues, featuring the haunting vocals and guitar of Javier Matos. There’s a bit of jump and swing to their music, though Washington Square lacks a dance floor. Still, there’s a nice selection of beers and some decent food. Helping things out will be Hurricane Harold on harp.

Friday, February 7
Jim Ruiz Set w/Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($7) Ruiz is a singer/songwriter with a voice that recalls a mellow Ray Davies of the Kinks. His songs tend to be mellow as well, in a jazzy loungy, folk-rock kind of way, with interesting lyrics. Bethany Larson has been called one of the Twin Cities Best Kept Secrets. Her country-ish songs of longing and heartbreak have garnered rave reviews and many fans. You may want to get a reservation, since the Aster is somewhat tiny.

Saturday, February 8

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:45pm ($10) Another opportunity to wear out the leather on your dancing shoes. Davina is a powerful singer and pianist, and together with her crack band, plays rompin’ stompin’ music. She and the boys are just back from Finland. If you’ve never heard this band, check out this video.

Sunday, February 9

Who Nu w/Dorothy Doring, Dee Miller, & Donald Thomas @ McCarron’s Pub & Grill, 1986 Rice Street, Saint Paul. 3pm – 7pm. I have to admit I’m not familiar with Who Nu, but judging by the caliber of the guest vocalists, I’ll bet it’s a funky R&B band. Dorothy Doring is equally at home in blues and jazz. Donald Thomas is a jazz singer/drummer with an R&B bent, and Dee Miller can belt the blues with the best of them, though I suspect she can also handle more sophisticated fare.  Sounds like a good way to while away a winter afternoon.

Carlos Núñez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) And now for something completely different – Gallician bagpipes. Núńez hails from Gallicia, in the Northern area of Spain, where they’ve been playing pipes for over a thousand years. He’s recorded and toured with the Chieftans and is very popular throughout Europe and Latin America.

LadySmith Black Mambazo @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23) The deep sonorous voices of this all-male a cappella group from South Africa resonates with audiences throughout the world. Joseph Shambala started the group after having a dream one night, and worked to get just the right combination of voices. Hard to believe they’ll be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Watch them perform their magic.

Monday, February 10
Pete Hennig and his Blue Grass Bandits @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Pete Hennig is versatile: he’s in the Atlantis Quartet, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, and numerous other bands. He is also a banjo player and has put together a group to release his inner hillbilly: Shane Akers – dobro; Blair Krivanek, guitar & mandolin; and Neil Powell, upright bass.

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.


Jazz, Afrobeat, Roots, & More. Music: 6.26 – 7.2

June 26, 2013
The crowd in Mears Park at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

The crowd in Mears Park at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

 

While the Twin Cities Jazz Festival may be big news this week, there’s plenty of music for others as well, including a Honky Tonk Fest, and two African artists at the Cedar, a contemporary Brazilian group, and more. Remember, live music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 26

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is as tight a unit as you will find in the Twin Cities. Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes. A great way to get over hump day.

Thursday, June 27

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Charmin Michelle, vocals; and Joel Shapira, guitar; have a natural affinity for playing together. They’ll be joined by Paul Harper, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, on drums. You can expect tasteful, swinging playing from all involved.

Maryann Sullivan and Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Go through the doors at 407 Central, NE, down the hall and down some steps to the rec-room like confines of Jazz Central to hear Sullivan, a swinging vocalist, and Taylor, a pianist who is in demand, whether as a leader, sideman, or accompanist to the area’s vocalists.

Thursday, June 27 – Saturday, June 29

Twin Cities Jazz Festival @ Various Saint Paul Locations. (Free) Most action will take place at Mears Park, but if you’re looking for some interesting gigs outside of Mears Park check out some of these acts.  Friday: At the Artists’ Quarter – 7:30pm – Will Kjeer’s Blue Haven. At the Hat Trick – 8pm Johannes Tona; 9:30 JazZen. At The Amsterdam: 6pm – 12:30am – The Cannonball Collective w/Doug Haining, sax; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Tanner Taylor, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. Saturday: At Black Bear Crossings, Como Lakeside Pavillion – 7pm – Larry McDonough Quartet. At Golden’s Deli – 9:30pm Tony London. At the Amsterdam – 10:30pm Javier Santiago Quartet. And don’t forget to check out the incredible music of young performers at the Youth Stage, outside of the Black Dog all day Saturday, featuring the Dakota Combo at 6:30. Check out the complete schedule here.

Friday, June 28

Lee Engele & Reynold Philipsek @ Kip’s Irish Pub, St. Louis Park. 9pm – 11pm. (No cover) If you’re looking for some enticing vocals (Engele), and tasty guitar playing (Phillipsek) to go with your Irish whiskey, look no further.

Saturday, June 29

Doug Little Trio @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A cozy lounge under Porter & Frye serves as a new venue for jazz. Doug Little is a master of sax and flute, and has an affinity for Cuban and Latin rhythms. I expect, however, that tonight he’ll be venturing into standards territory as well. And there is some room for dancing, whether it’s the Businessman’s Bounce, a Rhumba, or Salsa.

Sunday, June 30

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Williams is an actor known for her role as Dinah Washington in Penumbra’s Dinah Was, and for acting at the Guthrie, Mixed Blood and theaters throughout the country. Her theater resume is extensive. She was so good as Dinah because she’s an exceptional singer, as evidenced by her 2011 CD, Regina Marie Williams. She’s particularly effective on ballads like “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” and “Something to Live For.” Williams can mine the pathos of “The Other Woman,” celebrate in “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” and speak her mind in “Rough and Ready Man.”

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.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 26

Bloody Ol’ Mule on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) If you didn’t get out to the Deep Blues Festival last weekend, you can hear one of the headliners today on KFAI and at the 331 Club. Bloody Ol’Mule is a one-man band who draws inspiration from Hank Williams, John Lee Hooker, and the modal blues of the Mississippi Hill Country. It’s often raw, and always emotion packed music.

Femi Kuti @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) Kuti’s appearance at the Cedar last summer was a rousing, dance-fueled Afrobeat event. Blazing horns and exotic drums combine to create ferocious rhythms underlying Kuti’s singing decrying poverty and government corruption. You may find yourself dancing to protest, escape reality, transcend differences, or simply to celebrate the joy of being alive. Our friends from Worldwide Diskotek will be spinning vinyl to open.

Thursday, June 27

Acoustic Blues Night, featuring Papa John Kolstad & Cal Hand @ Merlin’s Rest, East Lake St, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) What with the recent re-release of Mill City Blues, and these regular acoustic blues nights, Papa John has been visiting his blues roots with success. Tonight he has the talented Cal Hand on dobro to liven things up even more than usual. Papa John is also playing at the Black Dog on Saturday at 7:30 as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Friday, June 28

UnknownAmadou & Mariam @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) Wow. Two African music events in one week! GRammy nominated Malian stars Amadou & Miriam sold out the Cedar last year with a joyous show. Their vocals charm and sparkle. Amadou’s guitar work is supple, yet highly rhythmic. It’s a celebration of Africa, but more importantly, a celebration of life. Once again, Dan McAllister and Brian Engel of Worldwide Diskotek will be spinning vinyl to open.

Biscuit Miller @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 5:30pm ($?) Miller played bass for Lonnie Brooks for ten years. He also recorded an award-winning single with Sonny Rogers, and spent some time playing with Mojo Buford. He and his band, The Mix, mix it up with a bit of funk, R&B, and of course, the blues – all designed to get you dancing. Lady J Griot opens at 5:30, and Miller will hit the stage at 7pm.

Saturday, June 29

Honky Tonk Fest @ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm (Suggested donation – $5) Honky Tonk music is a two-beat, easy-to-dance-to style that combines elements of Western Swing, traditional country, and a hint of rock n’ roll. It’s a dancer’s delight, with folks twirling, dipping, and, for the slower numbers, gliding across the floor. Today’s line-up features some of the best practitioners in the metro area: Jennifer Markey & the Hungry Truckers, The Cactus Blossoms, the Dreadlock Cowboys, Jillian Rae (a wonder on the fiddle, BTW), Leo Rondea, and Trailer Trash. Some food will be available, with all proceeds from this event going to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of MN.

Nikki, Rich, & Jon

Nikki, Rich, & Jon

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sure the place is often noisy, and you might find a bachelorette party or two to be distracting, but if you sit down front, or even at the nearest end of the bar, you’ll be able to appreciate Nikki’s crystaline vocals, and Rich Rue’s playing on the resonator guitar.

Paul Mayasich & the RAMM Band @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Blues, rock, and other Real American Music from this tight trio.

Monday, July 1

Chasing Lovely @ The Coffee Shop NE, Minneapolis. 7:00pm. With lovely sisterly harmonies, this Minneapolis-raised, Nashville-based duo sings hook-laden original country songs with a pop bent. They’ve an EP with accompaniment from a number of Nashville’s best, but really don’t need backing to impress. Here’s a video.

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Yes, the Power Blues guitarist will be playing the tony Dakota. The Atlanta guitarist put out his first solo album on Alligator in 1988, and he’s been tearing up stages ever since. Don’t be surprised if he peels some of the paint off the walls with his fleet-fingered, well crafted solos.

Tuesday, July 2

Choro Borealis and DIBIGODE @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($10 advance, $12 door) It’s billed as 150 Years of Brazilian music, and no wonder as these two bands will play music from the late 1800s to the present. DIBIGODE is from southeast Brazil. Their music music eschews bossas and sambas for a more contemporary sound that mixes electronica, jazz, and Tropicalia into a pleasing whole. You can hear them on their MySpace pageChoro Borealis is one of guitarist Robert Everest’s groups. Choro (pronounced Show-doo) is a Brazilian music that mixes European and African influences, and was popular from the late 1800s until the 1930s. Folks have been rediscovering this music. Charlie Musselwhite has even recorded a couple of tunes that are influenced by Choro. Joining Everest in Choro Borealis are Bob O’Keefe on reeds and percussion, and Tim O’Keefe on mandolin, percussion and cavaquinho. Here’s a video of DIBIGODE.

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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