Mild Weather, Hot Music: 11.29 – 12.5

November 29, 2017

Some more holiday shows are on the horizon this week, as well as interesting shows from both visiting and resident artists. The weather continues to be unseasonably mild, so even if the temps drop some, as shown on the AccuWeather map above, it’s still easy to get out and hear some live music.  On to a couple of personal notes, I’ll be retiring from my radio show, Rhythm & Grooves, at the end of the year. My last show will be December 30, though hopefully, I’ll show up occasionally as a sub for other programs. I am continuing this blog and my newsletter. Secondly, the treatment regimen for my health issues goes amazingly well. Thank you for all your positive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Now get out and take part in a live music experience, which certainly can lift your spirits.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 29

Patrick Adkins Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Here’s a young group worth watching: Patrick Adkins – Piano; Tarek Abdelqader – Drums; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibes; Aidan Sponheim – Trumpet; Drew Stinson – Bass; Thomas Strommen – Saxophone

Thursday, Nov 30

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) With Reuben Ristrom, guitar; Larry Hillman, sax; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and David Schmalenberger, drums.

Also: George Cartwright’s Smashing Carp @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Cartwright, saxophones; Heather Barringer, Vibraphone; Noah Ophoven-Baldwinm, trupmpet; and Michelle Kinney, Cello. Smashing is right.

Sophia Shorai Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Underneath her sunny voice there is heartbreak waiting to be unleashed.

Friday, Dec 1

Kronick Quintet @ The Green Lantern (Public), Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Five veteran musicians playing jazz will entertain in the basement bar at Lowertown’s Public Restaurant.

Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) A young trumpeter with beautiful tone has veterans Peter Schimke, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass accompanying him.

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1,2

Earl Klugh @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($32, $37, $42) Acoustic guitarist Klugh cites Chet Atkins as being his most important influence, yet he has recorded with jazz artists, and his work is sometimes listed as New Age, or smooth jazz. He has a pretty tone and deft fingering, which come to the fore in his last album, Handpicked, a mostly solo outing, with two duets – one with Bill Frisell on Blue Moon and another with ukelelist Jake Shimabukuiro on Hotel California. 

Saturday, Dec 2

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Le Voyage opens at 7pm, featuring Matt Rice, alto sax; Donald Washington, saxophones; Richard Studer bass, and Steve Hirsh, drums. At 8:30, Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband will take the stage;: Geoff Senn, tpt; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olsonm, guitar; Joe Strachan piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. While there are no videos of the band performing, here’s a slightly different version of the band from their recording.

Also: Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) a charming, unaffected vocalist.

Sunday, Dec 3

Katia Cardenas @ Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave North, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) I’ve yet to make it to this funhouse/bar/restaurant with indoor mini-golf and other attractions, but the siren call of Cardenas’ vocals on jazz and occasional pop tunes just might do the trick. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Gadbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Alley Cats Jazz Jam @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm  (No Cover) This jam is headed up by guitarist Joel Shapira, for a New York Jazzers Open Jam, though rules apply for participation.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 3, 4

Brad Mehldau Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $50), 9pm ($25, $30, $40) Whether improvising on rock n’ roll standards, a Charlie Parker blues, or the Great American Songbook, pianist Mehldau and bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard create intimate, often contemplative, music on their 2016 release Blues and Ballads. I can’t describe their music any better than Brit Robson did in the Star Tribune the other day, “Heres’s a group that manages to be cerebral and sentimental all at once.”

Tuesday, Dec 5

The Crosby/Clooney Story w/Hixson & Fogel @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are reprising their popular show featuring the tunes and stories of the long friendship and working relationship between Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney. They’ll be aided by pianist Rick Carlson and bassist Steve Pikal. Here’s a video that shows Crosby and Clooney singing together.

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, Nov 29

Matt Woods on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Woods is a native of Iowa who performs traditional American roots music in all its guises, from traditional delta, hill country and urban electric blues, to gospel, country and folk music.  

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Joe Demko’s romantic streak is evident in many of the swinging loves songs that he and the JazzBos play. He promises to debut a theme song tonight. Bring your dancing shoes and your dancing moves.

Turkuaz @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15 – $18) Brooklyn based funksters Turkuaz have a stage show described as combining influences from Sly and the Family Stone to Talking Heads into an explosive auditory and visual circus, a full-frontal assault on the senses. Opening are the Suffers, an 8-piece ensemble from Houston who play “Gulf Coast Soul.” They’ve done a tiny desk concert for NPR (which you can see here , and have appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Thursday, Nov 30

Willie Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see this Walker, who was part of the original soul explosion in the 60s, in a fancy setting. During the past couple of years he’s experienced an uptick in overseas gigs, and has won two awards from Living Blues – Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his recording Nothing Ever Changes. Whether singing originals, or classics by Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Walker has never sounded better.

Also: Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, 511 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Master of the bottleneck slide guitar, purveyor of the blues.

Friday, Dec 1

Church of Cash Holiday Show @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapoills. 6:30pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) You get a band that does a terrific job of honoring Johnny Cash while celebrating the holidays. What’s not to like?

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1, 2

Christmas Reggae Weekend @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($?) Expect Christmas music Yard Style and Soca Style, With Socaholix and The International Reggae All-Stars laying down the heavy bass. Wonder if they’ll do Sensimilla to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus? Here the All Stars tackle Purple Rain.

Saturday, Dec 2

18th Annual Jeff Arundel Holiday Show @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) His show at the Aster Cafe is sold out, so you’ll have to head west to take part in this holiday tradition: With Special Guests Kathleen Johnson, Paul the Beatle, Fred and Anne Vagle, Steele Arundel, and The Swedish Men’s Whistling Team

The 99ers and The Black Widows @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Pop punk from the 99s and the all woman Black Widows.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover)

Sunday, Dec 3

Switched at Birth CD Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Saint Paul. 4PM ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Switched at Birth has been playing their genre-defying acoustic music since 1998, with a repertoire that includes, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, Irish,m and rock n’ roll music – Whew! They are celebrating the release of their third studio recording A Labor of Love. Members are Rick Anderson, guitar, banjo, vocals; Pam Kolupailo (Pam K of KFAI), guitar, vocals; Mark Briere, Mandolin, vocals; Mark Rizzardi, bass, vocals; and Catie Jo Pidel, fiddle. Opening act Cousin Dad is another acoustic band with a surprising song list, including Latin, country buds, fiddle tunes, Motown, and more. Here’s Switched at Birth with a classic rock tune.

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.


Happy New Year! 12.28 – 1.3

December 28, 2016

unknownIt’s time to put this year behind us. Though some of us have experienced triumphs and celebrations during the year, many would agree that it’s been a year filled with fear, loathing, and sadness. There is plenty of music to send 2016 on its way, from talented resident artists of many genres to a couple of visiting artists. There are, of course, many other options than those I’ve listed, for NYE, but be sure to check with venues, as some of the NYE events I’ve listed may be sold out by the end of the week. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 28

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) A beloved trio, Rio Nido came out of the West Bank music scene of the late 70s, with their unique blend of voices and a repertoire of songs from the 30s and 40s. After a decades long hiatus, they started returning to performing a year or so ago, welcomed so much that a third show was added for this gig. Prudence JohnsonTom Lieberman  and Tim Sparks are successful performers in their own right:, Johnson as a singer with more than a dozen recordings to her credit, as well as extended appearances on Prairie Home Companion; Lieberman as a producer and songwriter, and Sparks as an award-winning guitarist who’s equally at home with folk, jazz, country blues, and gospel.

Patrick Harrison/Larry McDonough Quartet’s Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison – No Cover), 8:30pm (McDonough) The evening starts with button accordionist Patrick Harrison playing for the dinner hour. Then at 8:30 pm Larry McDonough and his quartet put uncommon meters, rhythms, and harmonies to a selection of seasonal songs as well as some originals and songs from Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Paul Simon, and others.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 28, 29

Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Connie Evingson can sing bebop, blues, bossa novas, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, and Gypsy Jazz with equal ease. Her pitch is perfect, her tone is slightly husky and a bit sensuous, and her timing is impeccable. She’s had ten CDs in the top fifty in both the US and Canada, and has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Prairie Home Companion, Jazz at Lincoln Centyer and at other high profile venues. Her holiday CD, The Secret of Christmas, gets lots of play on my system each year. If we’re lucky, she’ll sing the Petit Nutcracker Suite, a 7 minute distillation of Tchaikovsky’s score for the classic Christmas ballet.

Thursday, December 29

No Exit: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Luke Peterson leads this young group, which tonight has a couple of special guests who are veteran players. Performing tonight are:  Brandon Wozniak, Sax; Jack Courtright, trombone; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

Will Schmid Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Seems I had the wrong date last week for this Reverie debut of another group of up and coming  players on holiday leave from college. Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Jesse Thorson, drums.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ever versatile Ms Mountain can heartily swing a bebop tune, and turn around and deliver a soothing ballad, or hip R&B tune. The excellent voice teacher will be accompanied by Dave Martin on guitar for an intimate evening of music.

Friday, December 30

Jeremy Walker/Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker – No Cover), 9pm ($12 Cash only) Pianist Jeremy Walker starts things off during the dinner hour. Then The Pat Mallinger Quartet, with: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums takes the stage at 9pm. Mallinger is a saxophonist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in Chicago, where he is co-leader of Sabertooth, a group that’s been performing till the wee wee hours each week at the city’s Green Mill since 1992. He also plays with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Bobby Lewis Quintet, the Arty Hoyle Quintet, and his own Quartet, and is a jazz educator of note in the Chicago school system.

TK Wallace’s Hard Bop Playhouse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s college night at Jazz Central, and things kick off with this group of students who are home for the holidays: Jordan Anderson, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Catlin, drums. They’ll be playing tunes by Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk,a nd more, followed by two more college groups.

Saturday, December 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) This may be the first time that the Black Dog is open until the New Year’s countdown, as past years they’ve had an early, family-friendly countdown. The celebration starts with Todd Harper, keys; Eric Coursen, drums; and Aaron Kerr on electric cello playing from 5pm to 7:30pm. Then at 8:30, Hoaxer, the college-age band, takes the stage: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Topping things off will be an all-star jam session anchored by Steve Kenny and Dave Brattain, beginning at 10:30pm and going until the new year.

SouthSide Aces, w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance, $25 Door) It’s a New Years Eve Dance party at the Eagles, as the Aces and Patty & the Buttons take to the small stage with a big dance floor. Both groups draw mostly on music from the 30s and 40s. While the Aces mine traditional New Orleans music, Patty & the Buttons use Gypsy Jazz and popular songs of those decades to successfully entice dancers.

NYE at Parma, with Arne Fogel & The Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 6pm (Fogel); 9pm (Benny Weinbeck Trio) Arne Fogel sings for dinner-time festivities (6 till 9pm) with Rick Carlson, piano; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Then Benny Weinbeck takes over with his trio, Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Sadly, Parma is discontinuing Singers Night on Fridays, though Weinbeck and his trio will continue to perform Saturdays.

Sunday, January 1

Twin Cities Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maybe you chose to stay home for NYE, but are now itching for music. Or maybe you simply enjoy the acoustic, romantic, and swinging music of artists Django Rheinhardt, Stephane Grapelli, and other proponents of Gypsy Jazz, such as the Twin Cities Hot Club: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Monday, Tuesday, January 2, 3

Terence Blanchard Live Recording @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50) New Orleans born trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has a beautiful tone, and creates music is often cinematic in scope, as exemplified by the over 50 soundtracks he’s composed, including Blanchard’s beautifully heartbreaking score for A Tale of God’s Will, Spike Lee’s documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Blanchard’s 2015 release, Breathless, finds him playing with a group called the E-Collective in a genre-crossing groove-laden fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B. He’ll be joined by them at the Dakota, and recording the event for inclusion in his next album.

Tuesday, January 3

Thompson, Balluff, Pikal @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Well, if you’re a fan of traditional jazz from the early part of the 20th Century, you’ll do no better than to hear Butch Thompson, piano; Tony Balluff, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play this evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 3, 4

Dick Oatts Quartet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45 Dinner), 9pm ($15) Iowa born and raised, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts began his professional music career in the Twin Cities in 1972, and moved to NYC in 1977 where he became a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has since worked with such big bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler, and Gunther Schuller as well as a number of big bands from Europe. He’s also recorded and toured with small groups led by Red Rodney, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Fred Hersch, and others, and has a dozen and a half albums as a leader. Tonight he’ll be backed by a stellar line-up: Bill Carrothers, piano; Billy Peterson, bass, and Joe Pulice, drums.

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, December 28

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a rare day in December when this “almost acapella” group crosses the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis, but they’re now at it annually for the House Party show between Christmas and New Years. Their repertoire includes songs of life, work, and death, from traditional mountain songs to sea shanties, and tunes by Bob Marley, and The Rolling Stones.  Be aware that KFAI has had problems broadcasting due to the recent ice storm snapping its hardware, so you may need to tune in to http://www.kfai.org to stream the show.

Thursday, December 29

Mayasich Mayhem @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitar master Paul Mayasich is joined by his brothers Mark and Greg, as well as John Iden and Joe Luoma, for the final Hot Seat at Crooners.

Curtiss A & The Cold Cold Hearts Sing Hank Williams @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Rocker Curtiss A does a John Lennon tribute each year; has a blues band (The Dark Click); leads a rock band (The Jerks of Fate); and occasionally does an Elvis Presley show. Tonight, however, he’s performing his annual Hank Williams tribute, a warm tribute to the classic country singer/songwriter. Bonus: Curtiss A’s sometimes rambling, often hilarious commentary.

Thursday, Friday, December 29, 30

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) Give these musicians credit, where credit is due. While jazz musicians have always drawn from pop music, only a few have embraced post-60s rock, notably Miles Davis, with the Cyndi Lauper tune Time After Time, and The Bad Plus, who featured songs from Blondie and Queen amongst their originals. About ten years ago, Chan Poling, keys (The Suburbs); John Munson, bass (Trip Shakespeare, SemiSonic); and Steve Roehm, vibes (Billygoat, Electropolis); formed The New Standards to concentrate on acoustic, jazzy versions of post 60s rock. They became national and international stars as a result. If you didn’t catch their annual holiday extravaganza this year, you can see them as a trio in the comfier confines of the Dakota, bringing new life to songs from Lou Reed, the Outkasts, Britney Spears, T Rex, and their own bands.

Friday, December 30

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (Tip Jar) It’s a special Pre-New Years Brunch at Hell’s Kitchen, and they’ve brought in the very special Rena Haus Trio just for the day: Rena Haus, guitar and vocals; Bob Haus, bass; and Ed Petsche, guitar. Rena’s originals are often highly amusing, sometimes racy, and occasionally political, with appearances by classic blues songs. Brunches at the Kitchen can be mighty crowded, so you may want to get a reservation to ensure you’re close to the band.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s a good night to warm up for NYE with both Willie Walker and Willie Murphy (below) playing, though it gives us a good problem of whom to see. Walker is the winner of two awards in the 2016 Living Blues Critic’s Poll: Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his release If Nothing Ever Changes, a well deserved award. He is most assuredly a Twin Cities Treasure.

Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 8pm ($7) Many folks who party hearty all year round, or who have had enough to last a lifetime, think of NYE as amateur night, and stay home. Willie Murphy is similarly inclined, and chooses to celebrate on the eve of NYE. Whether you want to stay home NYE, or have the energy to party two nights in a row, be sure to bring your dancing shoes, as Murphy’s brilliant arrangements of both his own songs and others that you know and love will have you gyrating before you can say Happy New Year.

Nooky Jones + Dem Atlas @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Nooky Jones has been around the Cities for a couple of years now, spreading smooth neo-soul with hearty elements of jazz and R&B. Among its members: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals/trumpet; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Opening is rapper/hip-hop artist Dem Atlas  who signed with Rhymesayers Entertainment in 2013 and toured a number of festivals opening for Atmosphere. He recorded with the French group Ursus Minor last year and is about to drop a new CD in 2017.

Saturday, December 31

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Get down, Get Funky, and Dance to this ten-piece band (including a five-piece horn section) covering both old-school and new-school funk and soul.

Hot Pants/Hipshaker 45RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The two best Dance Parties in town once again team up to present rare, original Funk and Soul 45s from the collections of Brian, George, Greg, Ben for New Year’s Eve. They get some extra special help from the distaff point of view as special guests Elizabeth Christian and Paula Carrillo join them. This event is always a hit, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Last Revel @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This acoustic trio describes their sound as Front Porch Americana, which seems about right, especially if you like to party on said porch. They are talented multi-instrumentalists, who bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies to their performances, whether they’re singing delicate ballads or high energy stompers. Special guest: Richard Hanson.

Papa John Kolstad: Masquerade Party @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Lately, Papa John has been playing with the New Phits: Bill “Wailin’ Willie” Smith, harmonica/vocals: Gary Powell, aka Tiny Gene Pool, slide guitar/vocals; Mark “Rizz” Rizzardi, bass/vocals. Papa John will be playing 12-string guitar, singing, and adding amusing anecdotes and political musings to the mix, as well as bringing in trombonist/bassist Sam Fiske to play. Expect some four-part harmonies from the group, as well as Morris Dancers, a piper to bring in the New Year, and a Celtic blessing, not to mention bubbly at midnight and people in costumes.

Joyann Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($30) With a voice that combines the emotion of the blues with the fire of rock, Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. The guitarist/pianist and songwriter has become a regular at Vieux Carré, drawing more fans with each appearance.

Hookers $ Blow @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) If you’re looking to dance to some 70s R&B, then H$B are the band to hear. This group of stellar musicians led by Adam Levy will be delivering the goods in the Cafe’s River Room, which is standing room only tonight. Call for reservations if you want dinner beforehand.

Charlie Lawson & Friends @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson is taking on NYE for a fun-filled evening with: Jim Ouska, guitar; Lorent “Slasher” Dwyer, bass; Marty Bryduck, drums. With Special Guests Langer’s Ball, the husband and wife team of Michael and Hannah Sturm playing punk Irish music.

Sunday, January 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you need the Corpse Reviver classic cocktail after last night, but it’s most likely you need a shot of the group that plays music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. It’s especially noteworthy that today’s edition of Corpse Reviver includes: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Charlie Parr, guitar. Here are two of the three 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.


Many Genres, Much Music: 11.2 – 11.8

November 2, 2016

unknown-1Lots of good music this week, from resident jazz artists doing special shows, to classical music being performed in rock clubs, to blues, African Soukous with a Minnesota twist, and a multimedia concert of music and dance from Central and South America. Don’t forget to vote, and remember: Music Lifts the Spirit.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, November 2

An Evening with Wayne Anthony @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Anthony is a Classic Crooner who nevertheless has performed a variety of styles in collaboration with many Twin Cities artists, including Patty Peterson, Mick Sterling, Gwen Mathews, Aimee & Boyd Lee, and Prudence Johnson.  He’ll be singing from the Great American Songbook, with musical help from Adi Yeshaya, piano; Mark Weisberg, bass; and Bobby Vandell, drums.

Anthony Cox Continuum Series Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 – 10:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cox always presents interesting, and often experimental groups. Tonight it’s the experimental George Marich Trio.

Thursday, November 3

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Whether she’s singing Bebop, Fats Waller, or shining a light on a 50s R&B classic, Mountain always delivers the goods.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band  Cory Healey, drums; Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet.

Twin Cities Seven @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Saxophonist Doug Haining leads this always swinging “little big band” through music ala Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven and some of the smaller Ellington groups. Vocals by the always pleasing Maryann Sullivan.

Mercy Button @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) There are quite a few musicians in the area that stretch boundaries and play “outside.” Case in point is this group, featuring: Nathan Hanson, sax; Pat O’Keefe, Woodwinds; Bret Warthchow, electronics, composition, and sound design; Geoff West Senn, trumpet; Nick Zelinski, drums.

Friday, November 4

The Arkanauts @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Li Anni Maravigliosi: the Musical! is a depiction of the travels of Marco Polo with the support of The Arkanauts:  Bill Gamble, Adam Linz, Lizz Windnagel and Cierra Hill; who will present songs and instrumental pieces by Bill Gamble, as well as some relevant traveling and sailor music.

Dan Newton/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 6:30pm (Newton, No Cover); 9pm Aces ($10) The Southside Aces seem to be on regular rotation at Vieux Carre, which makes since, given that they play New Orleans Brass Band music. Tonight they’re preceded by Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton on the stomach Steinway during dinner hour.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 4,5,6 

What Judy Means to Jazz @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm (Friday, Saturday), 1pm (Sunday) $22) Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson present a show that explores Judy Garland’s performances of the great jazz standards–many written for her–and her relationship with the composers and musicians involved in her career.

Saturday, November 5

Boom Room Jazz @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) For this monthly informal gig, Brad Bellows calls on his rolodex full of musician friends and has four or five come by and riff on various jazz standards. It’s a blowing night, where everybody gets to solo, and we get to see musical communication in action.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Common Space: Erick Graham, organ/keys; Dylan Nelson, guitar; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Alex Burgess, drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Ted Olsen Group, with Javier Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; Aaron Hedenstrom saxes; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Sunday, November 6

Jazz Brunch feat: James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 11am (No Cover) The folks booking Saint Paul’s Turf Club have done a good job of packing the place lately, and are trying new things. Case in point: the SPCO will play on Thursday, November 3 (see below), and the monthly jazz brunches, with bassist James Buckley bringing in a couple of his cohorts to entertain while customers chow down on egg benedict, french toast, and other brunch time treats.

Monday, November 7

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Once a month, this big band fills up the stage in the big room at Crooners and blasts out your favorites, bringing Arne Fogel up to sing a few songs each set.

Hannah Epperson, JelloSlave, & Omhouse @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) JT’s Jazz Implosion has a triple bill tonight. Hannah Epperson uses violin, loop pedal and voice, to arrange musical landscapes. JelloSlave is Michelle Kinney and Jaquline Ultan on cellos, with Gary Waryan on tables, and Greg Schutte on trap set. They are fierce improvisers and arrangers, with a repertoire that fuses jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Indian rhythms to both original compositions and surprising pop songs. Toronto’s Omhouse plays melodramatic progressive art-rock.

Tuesday, November 8

Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Chris Olson is well-respected around town and a player that young guns admire for his technique, imagination, and clarity of tone. Tonight he brings Peter Vircks, sax; and Reid Kennedy, drums along to explore originals and jazz standards. Here is Chris is a different setting.

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, November 2

Patty & the Buttons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ever wonder what a dance hall band of the 20s and 30s may have sounded like? Patty and the Buttons fill the bill with original music and a broad range of influences, including traditional New Orleans Jazz, Western Swing, Gypsy Melodies, Ragtime, and more.  Guitarist/singer Javier Matos continues the fun at 9pm

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55) 9pm ($32, $42) Jones was only a teenager when he began hanging out at Stax Records and recorded Green Onions with the MGs, essentially serving as the house band during the subsequent explosion of soul music in the 60s. He’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and The American Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether you’re a baby boomer who grew up with his music, or a millennial who appreciates soul music, you will be thrilled by seeing him.

Thursday, November 3

Belka String Quartet @ The Landmark Center, Courtroom 317, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Beatrice Hsieh, violin; Charles Gleason, violin; Matthew Geise, viola; Daniel Blumhard, cello are all students at the Cleveland Institute of Music. This program, which is hosted by the Schubert Club, will feature Bartok’s String Quartet No. 3, and Ravel’s String Quartet. If you can’t make it to this performance, they’ll be at the Icehouse tomorrow (see below).

SPCO @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance) The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra likes to play in venues that are not concert halls, and they’ve chosen a doozy this time with the rock and Americana-centric Turf Club. It’s a seated show, and your admission will also get you a drink to enjoy while you listen to Mendelssohn’s String Octet.

Big Head Blues Club: Willie Dixon Tribute @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm   ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the Colorado band that had a platinum album in 1993 with Sister Sweetly, have long been fans of the blues. They even recorded a song with John Lee Hooker for their 1997 album Beautiful World. In 2011 they formed the Big Head Blues Club to record 100 Years of Robert Johnson, with help from BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Hubert Sumlin, and other blues luminaries. For this show, a celebration of the music of Willie Dixon, they’re being helped out by Mud Morganfield, eldest son of Muddy Waters, Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Lonnie Brooks, and Billy Branch, three time Grammy nominated harpist who played in Willie Dixon’s Chicago All-Star band.

Friday, November 4

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) The Blues Saloon on Rice Street will reverberate with twangy guitars and honky-tonk music, which isn’t that far removed from the blues. Watch out for all the folks on the dance floor.

The Belka String Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Well, for two nights in a row we have chamber music in rock clubs. Tonight Madeline Island Chamber Music presents the young Belka String Quartet. See Thursday’s entry.

Rich Mattson & the Northstars @ The Hook and Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance, $12 Door) It’s a Freewheelin’ First Friday as Jackson Buck presents Rich Mattson, a veteran of the Americana/rock n’ roll bands The Glenrustles, Ol’ Yeller, and the Tisdales. In the year or two since forming the Northstars, Mattson and his group have garnered fans from throughout the area. They will be celebrating the release of Starmaps, and have invited classic roots rockers Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders to open.

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11:45pm (Tip Jar) This four-piece blues band uses a variety of instruments – guitars, slide, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bass, and drums – to create blues, roots and R&B. They had their first gig at the Black Dog about 5 or 6 years ago, and they’ve been on an upward path ever since, recording four well-received CDs in the process, and making it to the semi-finals at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.  Guitarist Jay LeClair is moving to Boston, so this will be the last gig of this configuration of the group.

Saturday, November 5

Jefferson: An American in Paris @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $15 Seniors and youth 6 – 18) This unique concert explores the musical tastes of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, and will feature actor Tyson Forbes as Jefferson, talking about his favorite composers and his impressions of the music he heard while in Paris. You’ll hear Arcangelo Corelli’s Lo Follia, perform on violin and harpsichord; Bach’s Sonata #2, Op. 5 on harpsichord; selected arias of Piccini and Gretry; and Haydn’s Symphony #85.

Wilkinson James CD Release, w/Jim Walsh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Singer-songwriters Liz Wilkinson and Al Scheiber blend honky-tonkish vocals with classic sounding original songs to create what might be described as alt-country, alt-folk, though the addition of saxophone on some tracks adds a different, inviting vibe. They are celebrating the release of their second album Abandon, on House of Mercy Records. Author, columnist and former City Pages writer Jim Walsh, of The Mad Ripple Hootenanny will open, giving listeners a preview of his upcoming new CD.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The dance floor at Bunkers will be filled as this ten-piece horn band  rings in the funk n’ soul that is sure to get your hips moving.

Festival de Las Calaveras @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door, children 3-12, $8, under 3 – free) Okay, I’m not conversant enough with Latin Culture to know everything going on at the Cedar tonight, but it sure sounds like eye-opening multi-media fun. There will be a concert featuring Maria Isa and music from her new project Valley of the Dolls; as well as tenor Alejandro Magallon and bass-baritone Rodolfo Nieto singing melodies of the Mexican Revolution (both are classically trained singers and Minnesota Opera performers); Bomba Umoya will perform traditional Puerto Rican rhythms; the Ecuadorian-Mexican ballad rockers Vhaltta will play; and the psychedelic cumbia band Guayaba, led by Chavez, will end the evening with a dance party. Also on the schedule: the dance group Mexica Yoloti, the spoken word collective Palabristas Latin@ Wordslingers, soundscape artist DJ Dan Cuco, and multimedia animation and visual art by local Latinx artists. And if you’re still fired up, there’s an afterparty @ The Nomad

Saturday, Sunday, November 5,6

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40 – $65 Saturday, $35 – $65 Sunday) In 1991 Fischer had a Grammy Winning R&B hit with How Can I Ease the Pain. Both before and after that she served as a background singer for folks like Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Nine-Inch Nails, and for almost two decades, the Rolling Stones, creating the spine-tingling backup vocals during Gimme Shelter. It took 2013’s Oscar winning music documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom, to bring her front and center stage, where her incredibly flexible voice and musical imagination can soar in a blend of soul, jazz, gospel, and rock. Reviewers have used words like mesmerizing, transcendental, and wondrous to describe her show. They’re not only correct, they may be understating the case.

Sunday,November 6

Siama’s Afrobilly  @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:30pmpm (Tip Jar) Siama Matuzungidi is a Congolese guitarist and singer who was instrumental in the popularization of soukous music, a lilting and expressive dance music. Now he lives in the Twin Cities and has recently released a well-received album entitled “Rives: From the Congo to the Mississippi.” He’ll be joined by percussionists Dallas Johnson and Mikkel Beckmen.

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) A 70th birth anniversary celebration of the music of Graham Parsons, including selections from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo; The Flying Burrito Brothers, and duets with Emmylou Harris. The all-star band includes members of the Platte Valley Boys, The Urban Hillbilly Quartet, Wilkinson James, Switched at Birth, and Miss Becky.

Monday, Tuesday, November 7,8

Suzanne Vega with Teddy Thompson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) Neo-folkie Vega has been credited with starting the folk revival of the 80s after growing up in the Upper West Side of New York. After being turned down twice by A&M records, she was signed after submitting a third demo and her debut album went platinum in the UK. Her next album, Solitude Standing, was both a critical and commercial success, yielding two iconic songs, Tom’s Diner and LukaTeddy Thompson is a singer/songwriter from England who has received acclaim from the New York Times. He’s the son of Linda and Richard Thompson and counts early rockers, such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers among his influences.  Here’s what Vega sounds like these days.

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


Hot August Nights: 8.10 – 8.16

August 10, 2016
Long before the Pavilion became a hot spot

Long before the Pavilion became a hot spot

There are more outdoor music events this week, including music at the Como Park Pavilion (see photo). We also have a number of intriguing events in bars and restaurants, with visiting artists from New Orleans, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago, along with our own talented resident musicians. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 10

Jazzy Women Singer/Songwriters @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $35 Dinner) Lucia NewellJudi Vinar, and Vicky Mountain are three of the finest jazz singers around. Here’s a chance to hear them singing their original songs in the intimate Dunsmore Room, accompanied by a couple of fine instrumentalists, Phil Aaron on piano and Graydon Peterson on bass.

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Trumpeter Zack Lozier has the chops to pay proper respect to Louis Armstrong. Together with Steven Hobert on piano and Steve Pikal on bass, they play the music of Armstrong and other early jazz musicians, while changing things up with other jazz standards.

Thursday, August 11

MN Hardbop Collective @ The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis. 5:30pm – 9pm, ($10/free for members) Drummer Jesse Simon has put together this quintet to pay homage to the R&B.Gospel inspired music of the 50s and 60s. The group features promising trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim: Javier Santiago on piano; Daniel Carpel, bass; and Joe Mayo on sax.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) A new group formed by some veterans: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniack, piano and organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s the semi-regular appearance of this forward thinking group led by bassist Adam Linz, and including young lions Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Corey Healy, drums; and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet.

Jazzland Wonderband & Mississippi Hot Club @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 advance, $10 Door) These two bands have done a number of double-bill shows lately, as they complement each other quite well. The Mississippi Hot Club  plays acoustic swing and gypsy jazz, featuring: Joshua Parlanti, lead guitar; Alissa Jacobsen violin; Luke Zupan and Ian Stenlund, rhythm guitars; and Joseph Downing, upright bass. Jazzland Wonderband blends traditional New Orleans jazz and second line music with R&B of a more recent vintage. Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Deveraux, reeds; Keith Holson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Friday, August 12

Estaire Godinez w/Jose James Sr. @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Percussionist Godinez brings her Latin rhythms to Saint Paul’s downtown park for an evening of outdoor dancing. Lessons at 6, followed by music.

Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Trombonist Andrews in a force of nature, whose New Orleans heritage has taught him how to grab hold of an audience from the time he enters the stage until he leaves them spent at the end of a show.

Saturday, August 13

Jazz Alley @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 11am – 1pm (No Cover) Jazz Alley members are: vocalists Sarah M. GreerMaryann Sullivan  and Katia Cardenas  along with Ted Godbout on keys and Jim Chenoweth on bass. This group and brunch gig came about after this year’s “Singers’ Scatt Off” during the recent Twin Cities Jazz Festival. There will be two sets each Saturday through August.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The young guns take the stage as headliners tonight with Hoaxer: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Edmund Caitlin, drums; and Peter Goggin on alto sax. This is a talented group of musicians, and in ten years or so, you’ll brag “I saw them when…” Opening is the Joel Shapira/Dean Granros duo, bringing you some exquisite guitar playing.

Rebirth Brass Band & Cha Wa @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 10pm ($35) Rebirth has been a part of New Orleans’ brass band revival for about 30 years now, and have been appearing at the Dakota once or twice a year for a few years now. They are upping the excitement level, if that’s possible, by bringing Cha Wa, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe, along for this trip. Bring some white handkerchiefs to wave as you second line around the club. Here’s Cha Wa.

Sunday, August 14

Bob DeFlores’ Legends of Jazz @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12) Film Historian Bob DeFlores unpacks some of his rare movie clips of artists such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Waller, and others.

Monday, August 15

Naomi & Her Handsome Devils @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Singer Naomi Uyama began her love affair with classic jazz as a 16 year old swing dancer. She’s won international awards for her dancing and taught, eventually taking up singing and putting together a band to play for other swing dancers.  Here’s hoping some tables are moved to make room for dancing.

Tuesday, August 16

Irv Williams’ 97th Birthday Celebration @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Saxophonist Irv Williams can outlast that Energizer bunny. He’s been performing in the Twin Cities since 1942. Before moving to the Twin Cities, Williams played in bands alongside such notable jazz stars as Ella Fitgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Mary Lou Williams, and Billy Eckstine.  He chose to stay in the Twin Cities despite invitations to join the orchestras of such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong. Not only will “Mr Smooth,” who still has a great sound, be celebrating his 97th Birthday, but he will be awarded as the first inductee into the newly formed Minnesota Jazz Hall of Fame.

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, August 10

Nathan Miller & The Unstoppable Co. on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90,3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Miller plays a lap slide guitar, imbuing it and his voice with a soulful sound, whether redoing Stagger Lee as a ballad or rocking out.  It’s host Harold Tremblay’s birthday, so let the celebration begin!

Thursday, August 11

The New Standards @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) The Standards play rock songs from the 80s and beyond, recast in acoustic, jazzy settings by Chan Poling, piano; John Munson, bass; and Steve Roehm, vibes. John Swardson and Bad Blood open. Half dozen food trucks, beer from Tin Whiskers and Summit Brewing.

Friday, August 12

The Claudettes @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) The Claudettes perform a mash-up of Windy City Blues and the energy of rockabilly and punk, along with some echoes of the jazz age. Founder/pianist Johnny Iguana is a member of two Grammy-nominated groups: Chicago Blues – A Living History, and the Muddy Waters 100 Band. He’s joined by bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn, drummer Matt Torre, and singer Berit Ulseth, returning to her home town where she first sang as a teenager.

Lydia Pense & Cold Blood @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (??) Lydia Pense & Cold Blood were one of the high-flying R&B horn bands of the late 60s and early 70s, who, along with Tower of Power, exemplified East Bay Grease. After appearing at the Fillmore West, Bill Graham immediately signed them to his label, and they subsequently achieved national fame. Pense and the sextet are still performing and still releasing new music, the latest offering being Soul of the Gypsy from 2015. Twin Cities harpmeister Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy opens.

Saturday, August 13

Lisa Wenger Band @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Wenger’s soulful, sweet, and gritty vocals have been belting the blues and blues-based roots music for years now, entertaining folks throughout the Twin Cities and the Midwest and as far afield as The Bitter End in NYC and BB Kings in Orlando. Here’s a chance to see her entertaining a crowd in Crooners’ lounge, with no cover, to boot.

No Limits the B-Side Band @ Lucky’s 13 Pub, 3000 Harbor Lane North, Plymouth. 9pm (No Cover) R&B grooves from yesterday and today, delivered by a sharp band and three different vocalists.

Sunday, August 14

Charanga Tropical Summer CD Release Party @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7pm (Free) This is what Twin Cities summers are for: Hanging out by a lake, having a picnic, or picking up food from a lakeside restaurant, and listening to some very fine music. Charanga Tropical were in Cuba last year, and while there, recorded an album at the Aireto Studios, where countless classic Cuban musicians have recorded, as well as folks like Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, and Frank Sinatra (before 1959, of course). In Cuba, as it’s called is a delightful album filled with lush Danzons, a Cha Cha or two, and music that will transport you to Cuba, even while watching sailboats in Minneapolis.

Renee Austin @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5:00pm – 8:15pm ($15, $40 Dinner)  Blues singer Austin lost her voice after thyroid surgery in 2005, a crushing blow for someone whose voice has been compared to Etta James. She couldn’t sing, and could only talk in a whisper until one day, eleven months later, her voice came back, though she still couldn’t sing until 2011, when she was asked to perform in her church. Now, she’s performing again, playing clubs and festivals, and singing in her five-octave voice. She’ll be accompanied by piano, guitar, and drums, for an intimate evening of originals, including some new songs.

Monday, August 15

Hula Peppers @ Como Dockside, Como Park, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) You can pick up some food and beverages in the restaurant and sit back and enjoy the breeze off Como Lake, while the Hula Peppers perform music from the 20s and 30s, with an Hawaiian melody thrown in every now and then for good measure. The Hula Peppers are: Dan Daddy Squeeze Newton, accordion; Gary Powell, Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furmiss, resonator guitar; Corey Mohan, ukeleles and musical saw. They are often joined by Lauren Asheim, a chanteuse with a Betty Boop quality that’s entirely endearing.

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.


Choices, Choices! Music: 6.8 – 6.14

June 8, 2016

Well, those of you looking for Latin or Caribbean rhythms have much to choose from this week, including Latin Jazz, Soca, Cuban roots, and more. Jazz fans have a rich menu as well, including a number of performances by emerging young musicians. Roots music fans can look forward to three visiting bluesmen, a couple of intimate festivals, and some honky-tonk. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 8

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Classically trained vocalist Ammons is equally at home in jazz and blues. She recently made new fans when she appeared at the 331 Club singing the blues with Paul Barry and the Acetones. Arrive early and take advantage of Happy Hour, which lasts until 7pm

Double Header of Jazz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Young bass phenom Lincoln has spent a year at Berklee in Boston, and is back for the summer, wasting no time in setting up gigs, such as this one with his contemporaries in a collective called Hoaxer. Together with Peter Goggin, sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Edmund Catlin, drums; they’ll be playing originals as well as music by Paul Motian, Laurie Anderson, and John Lurie. Note the time, which is a bit earlier than usual for Wednesdays at JC, as there is another group coming on at 9pm – Pawan Benjamin. Musician friends of Javi Santiago from around the country are gathering to prepare for an upcoming recording of original music: Pawan Benjamin  sax; Nick Jost, bass; Javier Santiago, keys; Tomek Mienowski, guitar; and Michael Mitchell, drums. Here’s Pawan Benjamin playing with Mike Stern.

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $30) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group to form his own group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.   Here he is with a big band.

JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is B-3 Jazz – music that keeps your feet tappin’ while the players explore variations in melody and rhythm, featuring the sought-after drummer JT Bates, along with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Thursday, June 9

Vicky Mountain & Friends, featuring Mary Louise Knutson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) With a background that includes a show band that toured South America, vocalist Mountain draws on an eclectic mix of music when performing and makes each song her own. This time around, she’ll be performing music from the Doors, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Sondheim, Shakespeare, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles. Pianist Mary Louise Knutson provides sterling accompaniment. Here she is doing a song by The Clovers.

Friday, June 10

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie is ideal for the sophisticated lounge at Parma 8200. She can swing a tune with ease, especially with the backing she has tonight: Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Pooch Heine, upright bass.

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Enblom has been lead trombone in the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and now is the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. In addition he’ played for Sinatra, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Harry Connick Jr., and currently plays with the JazzMN Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band, all of which demonstrates his versatility. He’ll be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Joe May, tenor sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for what promises to be a killer evening of music.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) The Jazz Central website doesn’t show a cover, and it’s a fact that if you go for the earlier concert by Pete Enblom, you won’t have to pay for this, but any chance to see young pianist Kjeer do his thing is worthwhile.

Saturday, June 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Silverback Trio: David Hirsch, Keys, electronics, sax; Brent Wallace, bass; Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. 8:30 set –  Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Steve Kenny, FLUMPET, Charlie Lincoln, bass; Kenny Horst, drums.

Ginger Commodore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Commodore is a former member of both Sounds of Blackness and Moore by Four. She and husband/drummer Bobby are calling tonight the Anniversary Jam, in honor of their 39th. They’ll have Sean Turner on piano; Mark Weisberg on bass; Daryl Boudreaux on percussion; and Solomon Parham on trumpet. You don’t have to be celebrating an anniversary to recognize that this should be a fun evening.

Sunday, June 12

Birthday Club w/Dan Choinard & Claudia Schmidt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Chouinard has a very cool concept going on, bringing in guest artists to sing the songs of composers born during the current month. The keyboard player has been around long enough to have connections with a wide variety of area singers. Tonight, he’s bringing in Claudia Schmidt  well known as a folk singer, but also a jazz singer of some skill. Given Schmidt’s storytelling ability and Choinard’s quick wit, this should be a fun show.

Monday, June 13

Maurice Jacox @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) In case you didn’t make it a month or so ago, since it was sold out, Jacox returns to the Dunsmore Room with his Nat King Cole Show, featuring Ron Seamon on piano and Reuben Ristrom on guitar. The two are part of a larger group that plays with Maurice when he takes the show to auditoriums. Always a pleasure to hear Jacox.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Whitman’s 10 piece band of some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians had a monthly gig at the old Artists’ Quarter for many years before it closed, so this is a rare performance. They perform originals as well as standards done with original arrangements.

Luke Peterson and No Exit @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID)  The young drummer will be bringing his new group, No Exit to the  basement venue. The group includes: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Peter Goggin, sax; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peterson on drums. Most of these young players are on summer vacation from college. They’re brimming with new ideas and we get to see and hear them.

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 8

Malamanya @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) What a great way to spend a lunch hour!  The rhythmic sounds of Malamanya draw upon the variety of Cuban song styles, all designed to get your hips shaking. Bring a lunch, take advantage of one of the food trucks on the East end of the park, or get take-out from one of the nearby restaurants and celebrate the season.

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp master is back in town for a visit once again, and I believe this is the first of a number of gigs in the area. Mischo  will be backed by guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, and perhaps a few more of his old pals from the area.

Los Requerdos @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This trio is made up of members of Malamanya, so if you didn’t get to their noon concert, you can still get a taste of Cuban dance music.

Thursday, June 9

Reina del Cid @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 6:30pm $12 Advance, $15 Door) Presented by the MN Music Coalition. 6pm Happy Hour and member artists showcase, featuring the wonderful singer/songwriter of rootsy/bluesy music, Ms del Cid, w/Jonathan Rundman (pop/folk/Finnish); The Lowland Lakers (bluegrass); Sarah Morris (country/Americana), and Andy Cook (singer/songwriter)

Tinsely Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Guitarist Ellis is a quintessential road warrior of the blues, averaging 150 shows a year. He  grew up listening to British Invasion bands and formed the Heartfixers in 1981, recording three albums, including one with the legendary Nappy Brown. Ellis joined Alligator records in 1988, and as his reputation grew, folks like Derek Trucks and Chuck Leavell joined on some recordings. He’s shared stages with Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Thackery, Buddy Guy and others, where his incendiary blues-rock guitar playing found enthusiastic audiences.

Friday, June 10

Sugar Shop Live @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Lolly Obeda, of KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will broadcast for the last time on Friday June 17. For a pre-farewell show, she’ll be broadcasting live from the newly reopened Viking Bar, across the street from the station. I’ll be spinning vinyl from 6:30pm until 8:30 or 9, after which, The April Fools take the stage with their bracing country rock.

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Well, if any non-blues band can be appropriate at Wilebski’s, it’s Trailer Trash  whose honky-tonkin’ rock n’ roll often contains similar elements to blues songs:  bad relationships, drinking, and betrayal.

Salsabrosa @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This nine-piece band lays down Cuban grooves that will have you up and dancing, even if you don’t know a salsa from a merengue. Alma Andina, with their contemporary Andean rhythms,  opens

Saturday, June 11

The 6th Annual Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. noon – ? (Free) Eight bands take the stage during the day in the wonderful city park at the end of downtown. They include: Wild Goose Chase Cloggers; The Broken Heartland String Band; Jasper Lepak; The Medicine Show Music Company; Siama’s Afrobilly Trio; Frank Hornstein & Friends; Brady Perl; and the Dumpy Jug Bumpers. There will be food, so it’s an ideal setting for a quick picnic, or stay all day.

Curtis Salgado @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Back in the day vocalist/harp player/songwriter Salgado was co-leader of the Robert Cray, sang lead for Roomful of Blues, educated John Belushi about the blues, and toured with both Steve Miller and Santana. He fought off liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008, and joined Alligator Records in 2012, promptly winning awards for Soul Blues Album of the Year, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, and BB King Entertainer of the year. As the LA Times said, Salgado is “keeping the classic flame of soul music alive.”

 

Butanes Soul Revue Party @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Well, here’s the second night of a party celebrating the retirement of Lolly Obeda and KFAI’s Sugar Shop. This time, it’s Lolly’s husband Curt leading the proceedings with the Butanes Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jacox, lead vocals; Curtis Obeda, Guitar; John Lindberg, Bass: Robb Stupka, Drums; Virgil Nelson, B-3; and Prince’s former horn section which includes Michael  Nelson, Trombone; and Steve Strand, Trumpet; as well as the very talented and animated Sue Orfield on Tenor Sax. Lastly Blues Diva’s Aisha Baker and Deb Brown will perform the duties of background singersLolly will also be spinning some tunes during one of the set breaks.

The Fab Six Present the Studio Beatles @ MacNally Smith College of Music, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Here’s a special performance of music from some of the most challenging studio albums by the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road.  It will feature students, staff, and alumni from MacNally Smith, including: Chad Magnuson, keys, reeds, & vocals; Tilly, drums, vocals; Gary Rue, guitar, vocals; Al Miller, guitar, vocals; Jerrry Gray, keys, vocals; Rusty Jones, bass; vocals. They’ll be joined by the Pepperland Strings; the Sun King Brass; and the Parlophones Vocal Trio to recreate all the sounds on the songs.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) A unique band in the area, in that they specialize in Soca, a high-energy melding of soul + calypso. The band features Prince Jabba, vocals; Charles “Chilly” Petrus, keys & vocals; Onesmo Kibira, bass & vocals; Lance Pollonais, drums; Siama Matuzungidi, lead guitar & vocals; Tony Paul, percussion; and Scott Fultz, sax.

Sunday, June 12

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No cover) One of only a handful of Charanga groups in the US, Charanga Tropical has the  classic charanga instrumentation of flute, three violins, vocalists, and full Latin rhythm section. They play a mix of modern salsa, original compositions, and of course, charangas.

Bluesfest @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 5pm (Free) Here’s a fun event for blues lovers. Bring a picnic and enjoy music from RJ Mischo, Big George Jackson, and The Everett Smithson Band, with Zydeco Dance Lessons by Flory Katz

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 Krew


Brrr. Music: 1.13 – 1.19

January 13, 2016
If these guys can make it out, so can you

If these guys can make it out, so can you

Well, we should be getting used to the cold by now, and if we aren’t going out quite as much, we’re still going out. This week we have three world music concerts, a couple of country rock shows, a CD release party, and as usual, some great jazz. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 13

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Bates is one of the busier bass players around town, and given how many talented bassists we have, that’s saying something. Tonight he’s joined by a slightly younger generation of talented musicians: Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums. Here’s Chris in a solo performance.

Thursday, January 14

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Dancers congregate at the Caves every Thursday night to dance to big bands such as the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra, a 16 piece band with vocalists Greg Marquadrt and Debbie O’Keefe. Doors open at 6pm, and if you’ve never learned how to swing dance, lessons start at 6:15. Here’s the orchestra with a classic.

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Paris is a singer who has lived in New York and LA, and Japan, led a jazz trio at three different Japanese Jazz Festivals, opened for Tony Bennett, and sung at Birdland, The Blue Note and the Iridium. Since 2000, Paris has been living in the Twin Cities and raising a family, and consequently out of the music business. Having impressed as part of a trio of singers at Jazz Central in October, they are bringing her back to sing from the Great American Songbook, with Chris Lomheim, piano; and Josh Granowski, bass. Sounds like a wise choice.

Friday, January 15

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The ever-creative Washington is back at the Dog for his monthly gig. This time he’ll be joined by Brad Bellows on valve trombone, as well as Dick Studer on bass; and Davu Seru on drums & percussion. They can sometimes get out there, but with a strong sense of melody and harmony, always bring it back. Here are Donald and Brad with a different rhythm section.

Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) This appears to be a solo gig for pianist Schimke  an A-list musician who has performed or recorded with folks ranging from Charlie Musselwhite, to Art Farmer, Victor Wooten, Rita Coolidge, and Tom Harrell.

Saturday, January 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Midwest Sax Quartet: Jared Jarvis, soprano sax; Evan Benidt, alto sax; Joe Mayo, tenor sax; and Gus Sandberg, baritone sax. Followed at 8:30pm by the Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums.  Zacc Harris will be heading to the UK in a couple of weeks, to perform with Michael Janisch at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London for three nights, as well as at other clubs.

Sunday, January 17

John Penny CD Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($7) Guitarist Penny has played with Jack McDuff, Bobby Lyle, Bernard Purdie, and Erik Gravatt, in addition to composing for TV commercials, and scores for the movie Patti Rocks, and well as movies for the MN Twins, The United Way, and others. He has a new CD, Urban Tumble. For the first half of the show, he’ll be joined by bassist Charlie Riddle and drummer Davu Seru playing new compositions by Penny. During the second half keyboardist Daniel Williams will join in for songs from the CD, and Pippi Ardennia will sing some of Penny’s vocal songs. Other guests from the CD will sit in as well.

Monday, Tuesday, January 18, 19

Davell Crawford: Tribute to Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35), 9pm ($20-$30) This is a highly anticipated show for fans of New Orleans R&B. The “Crown Prince of New Orleans” is a highly praised proponent of New Orleans’ piano tradition. Crawford’s grandfather was “Sugarboy’’ Crawford, an early R&B artist, and Allen Toussaint was a family friend. At the age of eleven, Crawford started hanging out at Toussaint’s studio where he felt it was a safe place to explore his own love for playing piano. Now, he’s carrying on the tradition and is performing the music of Toussaint, who recently left town, as they say.

Tuesday, January 19

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Take advantage of the quiet ambience of the listening room at Crooners to fully appreciate Ms Knutson’s effervescent piano playing. None other than Doc Severinson recognizes her talent, as she regularly tours with his big band. Tonight, she’s joined by a couple of highly respected veterans: Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Beasley’s Big Band @ Edinborough Indoor Amphitheater, 7700 York Avenue Sou, Edina. (?) Folks in South Minneapolis and the southern ‘burbs can visit the lovely amphitheater to hear the big band sounds of the 19 piece BBB. Here they are at the Caves.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 13

Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This group is a rising star in the Twin Cities Blues Scene. Joyann Parker is a quintuple threat as a singer, pianist, drum, guitarist, and songwriter. She and the guys in Sweet Tea are heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Whether they win down there or not, they’ve already won the hearts of many blues fans in town.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 13, 14

Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) PPL was one of the groups that helped define country rock back in the 70s. Formed in 1969, they had five top 40 LPs in the 70s and a sixth in the 80s, keeping their sound throughout a number of configurations. Amie was their first hit, recorded in ’73 and hitting the charts in ‘75. They also had a top ten hit in 1980 with Let me Love You Tonight, which also hit number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. Some luminaries who helped out with recording or performing include guitarist Mick Ronson, saxophonist Dave Sanborn, and Vince Gill, who would later go on to fame as a solo artist. After breaking up in the 80s, they reformed at the end of the 90s, and though leader Mike Reilly (bass & vocals) is the only long-time member (he joined in ’73), they still have the sweet harmonies that defined their sound.

Thursday, January 14

On the Way to Uskudar and The Other Country Quartet @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) This is part of the World Live! a series sponsored by the Library and KFAI, which knows a thing or two about musics of the world. On the Way to Uskuda  presents Turkish and Balkan music using traditional and modern instruments. The Other Country Quartet, on the other hand, doesn’t present country music from the US, but music from other countries.

Friday, January 15

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) This rockin’ blues quintet  as recently voted Best Dance Band of 2015 by U Wanna Dance, a website and organization aimed at dancers – see the link below. The award is highly appropriate, since the band pretty much instantly fills up dance floors, and, you don’t have to know any special steps, though its always fun to watch dancers that know those special steps.

Faculty Recital @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a collection of mostly classical pieces done by some of the faculty at MacPhail Center for Music. You’ll hear some Spanish Folk Songs, sung by Mikyoung Park, with Luke Swanger on piano; two pieces composed by Christopher Caliendo, performed by Julie Johnson, flute; and Jeff Lambert, guitar; As well as a couple of Rachmaninoff vocals, a guitar piece by Hector Villa-Lobos; and a piece for Marimba, Vibes, piano, drum, and bass. For more information, go to: http://www.macphail.org

Willie Walker and We “R” @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) It’s been a good year for Willie Walker  who has paid his dues in the soul circuit since the 60s. Walker toured South America a couple of times, and he and the band  recently tour in Switzerland. To top things off, Walker’s latest CD, “If Nothing Ever Changes,” is up for three awards in the 2016 Blues Awards. The Rick Estrin-produced album jus up for Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Male Artist. See what the fuss is about by checking out the lounge at Crooners.

Sons of Almighty @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s an all-star lineup of funkateers from around town, each of whom has played/recorded with major acts from in town and around the nation. Members are: Tommy Barbarella, keys; Michael Bland, drums; Julius Collins, vocals, Cory Wong, guitar; Brian Gallagher, sax; and Sonny Thompson, bass.

Saturday, January 16

Malamanya & Alma Andina @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) There will be lots of Latin dancing at the Cedar tonight, as two home-town favorites take the stage Alma Andina opens, bringing their meld of Andean music (think pan pipes) and modern instruments to the fore. Then Malamanya will shake things up further with their Cuban-inspired dance grooves. In between, DJS from Radio Pocho will keep the grooves going.

Twin Cities Cabaret Salon: Our Way @ The Town House Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Donation) Each month the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Nework presents a Salon in the back lounge at the Town House. Six different artists perform for 15 minutes each. Tonight they’re celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra, with help from pianist Lori Dokken and Emcee Les Block. Tonight’s performers are Joey Babay, David Young, Mary Keepers, Vicky Mountain, Rhonda Laurie, and Connie Dussl.

Sunday, January 17

Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Since their debut album Vivid, in 1989, Living Colour has been powered by Avant-garde jazz guitarist Vernon Reid and the soulful vocals of Corey Glover. They were among the first bands to transcend genres, mixing rock, jazz, funk, punk and heavy metal into swirling mix of high energy music. Their 1995 dissolution was short-lived, as the band was touring again by 2001. Their latest CD is 2015’s Shade. Here’s a number with some pan-tropical influences.

Mehmet Polat Trio & Srazhalys @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 advance/$25 Door) It’s another evening of intriguing world music. The Mehmet Polat Trio plays hypnotic music with roots in Ottoman, ancient Turkey, Balkan, and West African music traditions. Members are Mehmet Polat, oud; Sinan Arat, Ney; and Bao Sissoko, kora. The trio plays Polat’s compositions, which allow for much improvisation. Opening is Srazhalys, a quartet that uses Western rhythms to drive melodies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Tuesday, January 19

The Federales w/Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. (Free) Here’s a double bill of acoustic Americana. The Federales describe themselves as a country band for a modern world. With the exception of an electric guitar, this six-piece sings of blues, bourbon, Grain Belt, and guitars, occasionally slipping into a country-rock mood. Doug Otto and the Getaways bring their mournful sounds to the opening set.

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. For a listing of dance opportunities, check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Mid-December Music: 12.9 – 12.15

December 9, 2015
Drink to the reunion of Rio Nido

Here’s to the reunion of Rio Nido!

Hard to believe we’re approaching the middle of December and we haven’t been hit with either a major snowstorm or temps below 20 degrees. Not to complain, however, since such weather makes it easier to get out and about – we don’t need to plan for an extra 20 minutes just to get properly dressed. At any rate, we have some great music in store for this week, including a long awaited reunion of Rio Nido, a couple of outstanding visiting artists, and some more holiday celebrations. It’s all good. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 9

Gary LaRue Quartet @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) LaRue and his Rat Pack Band (a trio) will perform songs by Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and others of that era and time. Throw in the layout and atmosphere of Mancini’s bar, and it shouldn’t be hard to feel transported to a lounge in on the Jersey Turnpike during the 60s.

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; are three veteran musicians with a vast wealth of experience between them. They mesh well as a unit, to create swirling sounds that range from Americana-like swing to aural soundscapes.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 9, 10

Ramsey Lewis: The Sound of Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) With over 80 albums and three Grammys  to his credit, pianist/composer Lewis knows how to connect with an audience. He’ll be applying his sprightly, swinging style to tunes of the season for this appearance.

Thursday, December 10

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain has a fairly extensive performing resume that includes touring South America with a show band many years ago. Nowadays, she’s a vocal teacher at MacPhail Center for Music and occasionally gets lets her talent shine on stage, where she sings originals as well as her own arrangements of hip pop tunes and standards. Tonight she’s accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; and Jim Chenoweth, bass. Here’s a video of her singing at a house concert.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler brings his 16 piece big band to the basement boîte. His compositions and arrangements take full advantage of the colors and palettes of the group’s instruments, as you can see and hear in this video.

Friday, December 11

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Perhaps you got to see the article about this group in Sunday’s Star Tribune. It’s been 35 years since they performed together at a commercial venue, and many folks are eagerly awaiting the return of this swinging trio. Back then, their tight harmonies on tunes from the thirties and forties provided a refreshing break from the Blues, Punk, R&B, and cover bands that were sprouting all over the Twin Cities. Here’s an example of why they had such great appeal.

Bill Simenson Quintet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar)  Simenson, on trumpet, leads a big band in town. He’ll be joined by a talented mix of the areas best:  Nathan Hanson, sax; David Martin, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Preceded at 7pm by the Mac Wilms Quartet, a group of secondary students appearing as part of the monthly JazzInk Youth Showcase.

Saturday,December 12

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Frank Sinatra Centennial @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Lines were out the door last time Walesch presented his Frank Sinatra show at Crooners. Since today is the Centennial anniversary of Sinatra’s birth, I suspect the demand will be even greater, so be forewarned if you want a seat.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny continues to find both upcoming and veteran bands to play each Saturday night. Opening set by the Cadenza All Stars. At 8:30 it’s the King/Fletcher/Woods CD Release, with Jeff King, saxes; Charles Fletcher, bass; and Eron Woods, drums.

Peter Kogan Quartet @Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra takes out a smaller set of drums and is joined by Brian Grivna, sax and woodwinds; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass; to play songs from both Cornucopia and his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing. If you scroll down past this post, you’ll find a short review of the new album. Here’s one track from the album.

Sunday, December 13

Got any chips?

Got any chips?

Fuzzy Math CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Mark Vandermyde, keys; Eric Graham, bass; Andrew Schwandt, sax; and Haralds Bondaris, drums; celebrate the release of their second album, Pass the Guacamole. Their first, released in 2012, resulted in the band being named, “best jazz band for people who don’t like jazz,” or something to that effect.

Monday, December 14

George Cartwright’s PAL @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has been exploring the use of electronics as part of his performing, which may be one of the reasons saxophonist George Cartwright, who is quite adventurous himself, tapped him for this group. They’ll be joined by Andrew Broder, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass; for an evening of thrilling music.

Monday, Tuesday, December 14, 15

New York Voices @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) This vocal quartet  as been around for about 27 years now, and, with close harmonies and tight arrangements, seamlessly blend jazz, R&B, Brazilian, and classical sounds into their repertoire.  Check out this acapella version of a Beatle’s song.

Tuesday, December 15

Katia’s Holiday Special @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s a chance to get some holiday cheer without attending a large hall. Katia Cardenas has the pipes to get over an R&B tune, but also has the instincts and subtlety to handle jazz standards. Tonight she’ll tackle some seasonal favorites as well.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 9

The RAMM Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Twin Cities guitar hero Paul Mayasich leads this trio (Hye Pockets, drums; & John Iden, bass) through a program of R&B, Funk, and rock n’ roll.

Thursday, December 10

Mikkel Beckmen with Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wind down from work and prepare for the weekend with Beckmen’s weekly residency, this week featuring the esteemed Pop Wagne  on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and perhaps a lasso trick or two. Whether he’s singing cowboy songs, forgotten tin pan alley gems of the 30s and 40s, or telling stories, Wagner will set your toes to tapping and tickle a funny bone or two.

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Samba Meu and Snap Frost! @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Acoustic Brazilian roots and pop music, performed by Karen Quiroz, vocals; David Martin, guitar; Tim O’Keefe, percussion, and special guest Pat O’Keefe, clarinet. There will be an intermission set by SnapFrost!, the sisterhood of the shakere, the dried gourd with beads that helps create unrelenting rhythms.

Friday, December 11

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue Holiday Part @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Harold Tremblay’s harp playing is so sharp he has no problem recruiting players for his All Star Blues Revue. Tonight he’ll be joined by Keith Boyles, bass; Bruce McCabe, piano; Doug Otto and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams, gutars; and Allen “Captain” Kirk on drums. Besides celebrating the holidays, this show will be recorded for future release, so a noisy crowd is a welcome crowd. Here’s Harold with another version of the All-Stars.

Jack Knife & the Sharps @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Rockabilly, roots, and a bit of Western sound from a trio that’s been around in various groupings for a long, long time. Check out this example of their work.

Saturday, December 12

The Fattenin’ Frogs @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This sextet performs roots music – the stuff you would hear in juke joints, tent revivals, and medicine shows of years past years, upping the energy by using electrified instruments. The Bayport will soon be ending its presentation of music, so here’s one of your last chances to chow down on some mighty fine ‘Q while listening to live music.

JT at work

JT at work

JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The Jazz at Studio Z Series has started up once again. Since tonight’s group is an organ trio playing the genre’s hits from the 60s, I thought to put it under blues and roots. Tonight, drummer JT Bates  Zacc Harris, guitar; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ; to the stately listening room. As usual, there’s a workshop at 6pm, followed by the group’s performance at 7pm.

Sunday, December 13

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No Cover) Charanga Tropical was the first American band to play at the Danzon Festival in Havana, held biannually in June, and also recorded in the fames EGREM studios while there. Look for the resulting album in early 2016. In the meantime, hear them live this afternoon.

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) With its wooden chairs and tables, The Dubliner is about a comfy a neighborhood bar as you can find, even if it is located along the Green Line LRT on University Avenue. It’s a perfect place to listen to the relaxed, warm vocals and mighty fine finger-picking of guitarist Heywood.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($40) Rollicking swamp pop, Texas blues, and second line rhythms from the always entertaining Ms Ball  Whether singing about doomed relationships, life on the Mississippi, or backyard barbecues, Ms Ball delivers party music, plain and simple. While on her website, check out Marcia’s recipe for emergency chicken gumbo.

Monday, December 14

Doug Otto & Friends, featuring Nikki Roux and Rich Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Admittedly, these are two of my favorite roots acts. Otto is an often mournful, evocative singer, while Nikki’s vocals are sprightly. All three are strong guitar players.

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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