Summer Songs: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2018

When you play blues in the Sahara Desert

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

Wednesday, August 8

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

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

Wednesday, Thursday, August 8,9

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

Thursday, August 9

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

Friday, August 10

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

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

Friday, Saturday, August 10, 11

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

Saturday, August 11

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

Monday, August 13

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

Tuesday, August 14

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

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 8

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

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

Thursday, August 9

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

Friday, August 10

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

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

Saturday, August 11

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

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

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

Sunday, August 12

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

Tuesday, August 14

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

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

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

Labor Day Weekend and More: 9.2 – 9.8

September 2, 2015

images-3Well, along with many other writers, I suppose I could lament the ending of summer, now that Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, yada, yada, yada.

I’ll mention instead a couple of things that are promising for jazz lovers. First, Walker West Music Academy is to be congratulated on their monthly 8 O’Clock Jump Series. The first two shows: Nicole Mitchell Quartet on Sept 6, Ron Carter Trio on Sept 11; are already sold out, but you can still get tickets for upcoming shows by going to their website. The other good news is that Crooners Lounge and Supper Club has instituted Jazz Tuesdays, with a fine line-up each week in September. I’ve listed Dave Karr’s Tuesday appearance below. They are also featuring jazz on other nights, with occasional R&B acts as well.

There is some great roots and blues this week as well. Check out what you can. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, September 2

Anthony Cox Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) On the first Wednesday of each month, bassist Cox brings in a small group or ensemble from different disciplines to collaborate with each other. He’s open to questions and dialogue with the audience, which often creates an insight into the creative process.

Wednesday thru Saturday

Sheridan Zuther @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 4:30 – 6:30pm (No Cover) Crooners seems to be having an artists of the week for happy hour. This week it’s Sheridan Zuther, a vocalist whose strong voice and engaging personality will add even more happiness to your happy hour.

Thursday, September 3

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie’s assured way with swing and gypsy jazz will both calm your nerves and brighten your evening.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain, who teaches vocalists at MacPhail Center for Music, shows off her ability to find the jazz nub in a variety of tunes ranging from Fats Waller to Lieber & Stoller. Here’s just a taste of this hip singer.

Friday, September 4

Jon Weber: From Joplin to Jarrett @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Weber may be one of the most talented pianists in the country, able to play any song in any style and then tell you about its origins. Here’s a sample of what he knows.

Andrew Schwandt Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Schwandt is a saxophonist who has played cruise ships and all manner of bands, from Steeling Dan and Big Walter Smith to Fuzzy Math. He’s joined by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Karl Koopmann, guitar; Mac Santiago, drums. Here he is performing an original song with another one of his groups, Story City.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) An A-list of pro musicians: Zacc Harris, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Jay Epstein, drums.

Saturday, September 5

Jana Nyberg Group @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The flautist/vocalist brings her group, including trumpeter/hubby Adam Meckler, to the club located about 3/4 of a mile north of 694 on Central.

Adam Booker CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Booker is a Duluth bassist whose fine CD, Unraveled Rival, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm. He’ll have a sextet backing him: Ryane Frane, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Pete Hennig drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This Saturday night series continues to showcase new bands along with established bands. Tonight at 7pm it’s VVG, the debut performance of a young band featuring Josh Johnson, sax; DeCarlo Jackson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Ben Beyene, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s What Would Monk Do?, with Steve Kenny, flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke piano; and Kenny Horst drums.

Sunday, September 6

Connie Evingson sings Dave Frishberg  @ The Jungle Theater, MInnenapolis.  4pm, 7pm ($25)  Evingson continues her successful series of themed concerts at the Jungle Theater. This time she’s taking on the songs of Dave Frishberg, known for Peel Me a Grape, My Attorney Bernie, and more. She has Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson on bass to supply stellar support.  Here she is singing a samba.

Monday, September 7

Convergence Trio @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar). Bassist Michael O’Brien is in town for a few days. He has joined with Joel Shapira, guitar; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums, to create this trio of seasoned players who are well versed in jazz standards.

Monday, Tuesday, September 7,8 

Victor Wooten @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Bassist Wooten has won five Grammy, and is known for both his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Tuesday, September 8

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Crooners has started Tuesday Night Jazz, a weekly series featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the area. Tonight the 80-something Karr brings his quartet to the lounge. The veteran saxman (and flautist) can blow bebop licks and turn around and caress a ballad with his wonderful tone. I don’t know who he’ll have, but it will be fine, to say the least. Here’s an example.

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, September 2

CM81ui5UsAASgEw“Suds for Slim” @ The Nightingale, Minneapolis. 4pm – 2pm. (Free) Rush River Brewery and the Nightingale are teaming up to release Suds for Slim, a special brew, with the proceeds going to guitarist Slim Dunlap and family. Deejays Mark Trehus will spin from 4pm – 7pm, when DJ Fathertime (Mike Elias) takes over. I’ll command the wheels of steel from 10pm til closing.

Lonesome Dan Case & the Hoppers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip Jar). Case is a bluesman influenced by Rev Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and jug bands of the 20s and 30s. His voice has a lonesome quality (hence the name), earned no doubt, as he honed his craft traveling around the country. He’ll be joined by a new backup duo, The Hoppers.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes and prepare to move to jump blues, jive, and swing as saxophonist Clarke and his septet take the stage.

Thursday, September 3

Asleep at the Wheel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) 9pm ($30) In an era of country music that’s increasingly pop and rock oriented, this septet celebrates Western Swing, that combination of swing and country music that found it’s biggest star in Bob Wills. Since the band was founded in West Virginia over 40 years ago, they’ve had nine Grammies, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the country charts.

Friday, September 4

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Lil’ Ed is one of the most exciting blues players on today’s circuit. His fiery slide guitar, along with strong vocals and high energy, have consistently rewarded audiences around the world.

Boogie Wonderland @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Get out the platform shoes, glitter and shiny shirts.  It’s time to boogie down to as this six piece disco tribute band treats you to music from the 70s and early 80s.

images-4Jailhouse Rock @ Raspberry Island, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Free) Early Elvis at his best, with the titled dance scene often cited as his greets moment on screen. Grab a blanket or a chair (and some picnic fixings if you like) and make your way to Raspberry Island (under the Wabasha Bridge) for this screening of the 1957 rocker. The title song is listed at #67 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Film begins at dusk.

The April Fools @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) It’s roots music night at the Taproom, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents Wilkinson James at 7pm followed by the April Fools at 9pm. The Fools are Brian Drake, guitars/vocals; Clay Williams, guitar/lap steel; Ben Kaplan, drums/percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Saturday, September 5

reggae-625x350Reggae Fest @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 1pm – close (Free) The day starts with DJs spinning reggae and ska vinyl through the Prizefighter Hi-Fi Sound System, built just like the reggae-fueld sound systems of Jamaica. At 2pm, the Non-Prophets, a new band in town, will take the stage, followed at 4:30 by the Prizefighters, playing ska, roacksteady, and early reggae. Headliners Dred I Dread come on at 6pm and DJs close out the evening once more. There will be Caribbean food trucks available all day.

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Montoya was at the Minnesota Music Cafe in May, and now he’s visiting the other side of the metro area. He’s a southpaw, playing left-handed and upside down like Albert King, and having learned his technique from years of playing with Albert Collins.  As a world-class road warrior, Montopya has received high praise from such places as The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and Guitar One magazine.

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Classic country from the 50s-70s, along with plenty of dancing. Drinking too, if you like.

Sunday, September 6

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience @ The Fitzgerald Theatrer, Saint Paul. 8pm ($40 – $50) Mandolin pioneer Grisman has long been a formidable force in acoustic music, able to combine and integrate a number of music forms and traditions, including jazz, bluegrass, country rock, and world music. Jerry Garcia gave Grisman’s music the name “Dawg Music.” Originally scheduled for The Dakota, it was moved to the Fitzgerald to handle the response for tickets. Here is Grisman playing with Sam Bush.

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


Remembering & Anticipating. Music: 5.21 – 5.27

May 21, 2014

images-2Greetings to one and all. All of a sudden, Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to remember loved ones and those we’ve lost to wars. It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer – grilling and festival season. If you’re not heading Up North and enjoy a wide variety of music, there’s a weekend outdoor event at Memory Lanes. We’ve also got a couple of CD release parties and a visiting artist or two to supplement the wealth of music we have here in the Twin Cities. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, May 21

Century Jazz Ensemble @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Century Jazz Ensemble has a long history, a large repertoire, and a deservedly great reputation. It’s members meet weekly in a class called Music 1017, which is just an opportunity to jam and rehearse for two hours. Here’s a chance to hear them outside of the school and their special events. Plus, it’s a chance to check out the big band Tuesdays that MMC is having these days.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Pete Whitman leads this eleven piece student ensemble playing an eclectic mix of material ranging from classic hard bop to 21st century sounds.

A musical and sartorial inspiration

A musical and sartorial inspiration

Thursday, May 22

Irv Williams’ CD Release Party @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, Irv Williams just keeps on going. The tenor saxophonist may be 90+ but he’s still “Mr. Smooth,” with a beautiful sound and an ability to glide among notes with the greatest of ease. On the new CD, Pinnacle, he plays with Billy Peterson, bass, and Steve Blons, guitar.

Friday, May 23

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, perform tunes from Monk, Mingus, & Coltrane, as well as originals. Exquisite jazz.

Andrew Foreman @ Jazz Central Late Night, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Andrew Foreman is leaving town for the summer, and is having a going-away party of sorts. The night begins with the Ben Abrahamson Quartet performing their interpretation of Sea Changes, the Beck album. Chomsky, Foreman’s quartet, will then take the stage to play a mix of originals and indie rock covers.

Saturday, May 24

JoAnn Funk & Jeff Brueske @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/Vocalist Funk and bassist Brueske will be taking off from this weekly gig during the summer, though they’ll return for three nights of Jazz Fest. Anyway, this is a chance to hear some high quality jazz as Funk sings from a songbook that includes tunes by Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, and Dan Penn, among others.

Saturday, Sunday, May 24, 25

Unknown-2Davina & the Vagabonds Album Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) In the ten years since this Florida native settled here in the Twin Cities, Davina has gained thousands of adoring fans, who turn out to see her in a wide variety of settings, from the honky-tonk surroundings of Lee’s Liquor Lounge, to the swank Dakota, where she fills the house with every performance. Thanks to incessant touring, her legion of fans stretches across the nation and around the world. She and the Vagabonds will be spending a lot of time in Europe this summer, and cap the season with two appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Unlike most of her previous albums, the new album, Sunshine, was recorded (analogue!) in the studio, yet ably captures the excitement and sass of a DATV performance. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, May 25

Butch Thompson Blues, Rags, and Stomps: An Homage to the Emporium of Jazz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/clarinetist Thompson got his start with the Hall Brothers Jazz Band, who opened the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota back in 1966. It was an important tour stop for anyone playing traditional jazz, where you could buy set-ups, dance, and listen to the Hall Brothers backing some of the founders of the tradition. Thompson will be backed by some of the original members of the Hall Brothers: Charlie DeVore, cornet; Russ Hall, trombone; Mike Polad, piano; and Bill Evans, bass. They’ll be joined by drummer Peter Johnson and vocalist Hilary Thavis, who will sing some classic blues.

Monday, Tuesday, May 26, 27

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37), 9pm ($27) Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and winner of many awards for his electric bass playing. Thanks in part to a clean sound, he has the ability to keep things interesting while taking the lead for whole songs.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.


Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 21

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) A classic blues pairing of guitarist/vocalist (Scott) and harp player (Blake). Both have long histories with other bands, and both still play with others, but when they get together, the creative energy explodes. Here they are doing a Brownie McGhee song just about a year ago.


Malamanya @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Malamanya’s take on Cuban and Latin rhythms is both infectious and sensuous. The spacious venue with a large dance floor awaits salsa dancers and free-stylers alike. DJ Rambo Salinas will be spinning Latin and Chicano Soul before and between sets.

Thursday, May 22

Nikki & The Rue-Mates @ Sea Salt Eatery, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) Can it get any better than catching some folk-rock and blues, hanging in Minnehaha Park, and enjoying the much-praised seafood at Sea Salt. Nikki & the guys will be singing outside, so naturally, this is a weather dependent gig. Here’s a video that shows you what you can expect.

American Composers Forum Showcase @ The Landmark Center Weyerhauser Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This is an inaugural event of the American Composers Forum, which recently moved into the Landmark Center. The Zeitgeist ensemble will perform new works by Gene Pritsker (NYC), Bruce Reiprich (Flagstaff), Joshua Harris (Denton, TX), and James May (Amery, WI).

Friday, May 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 advance/$18 door) Zydeco Dance lesson at 7:30. Band plays at 8. It’s an Upriver Fais Do Do, as the Krewe de Walleye brings Broussard up from Louisiana and local cajun/zydeco dancers fill the floor. If you don’t feel the need to move to the classic creole and contemporary zydeco from Broussard & his bandmates, you better check your pulse.

Ronn Easton @ Famous Dave’s, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Ronn brings his considerable vocal skills to the BBQ joint, where he and his band will be playing uptown blues from the likes of ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Robert Cray, and Tyrone Davis for dancers.

Tom Lieberman @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/guitarist Lieberman was a member of the West Bank jazz trio Rio Nido back in the day. He’s continued to write, has had a song sung by Sesame Street’s Elmo, had another featured in the indie film Sweetland and has appeared on Prairie Home Companion. His songs swing, jump, and occasionally, veer into Louis Prima-style humor.

Saturday, May 24

Rhizosphere @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Improvisation from a quartet that explores the fertile territory where the roots of music from around the world come together. Sounds from Europe, Asia, and the Americas interact spontaneously in an aural environment held together by the great American traditions of Jazz, Folk Music, and the Blues. Members of the group include Bob Fantauzzo, Native American and Chinese flutes; Gabriela Sweet, slide guitar & accordion; Mike Burns, guitar; and Sean Egan, clarinet.

Alma Andina @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30PM ($5) Four Chileans and two Americans who have lived in Chile perform Andean and Latin American music. The groups play a combination of percussion, guitar, charanago, flutes and of course, pan pipes.

Saturday, Sunday May 24, 25

Weekend Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. (Free)  If you’re not heading Up North for the weekend, you can enjoy the outdoors while listening to a cornucopia of mostly newer talent. Among the performers Saturday: Black Market Brass, Buffalo Moon, Southside Desire, Black Diet, Grolar Bears, Hotpants/Hipshaker Deejays. Sunday brings: Deadstring Brothers, L’Assasins; Ross Kleiner & the Thrill; DJs Shannon Blowtorch & Father Time, among others.

Sunday, May 25

La Abandonada Orquesta de Tango @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) A little tango music from the “ Golden Age of Tango,” played by Cory Grossman, Matt Mioller, Sara Pajunen, and Trish Hurd-Paczkowski.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy: 3rd Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) It’s s boogie down R&B, soulful, bluesy celebration with two of the stalwart bands of the West Bank, circa the late 70s and early 80s. Both are still going strong, filling dance floors wherever they play. Tomorrow’s a holiday, so even if you’re old enough to remember the revelry at the Cabooze and Union Bar when these bands played those venues, you can stay up and sleep late. Check out Willie & the band.


Monday, May 26

Jack Brass Band @ The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm. (Free) You’ll have three chances to take part in a Second Line Parade around the zoo grounds, led by the joyous sounds of the Jack Brass Band.

Tuesday, May 27

Paul Mayasich & Dan Schwalbe @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Two extraordinary guitarists go mano-a-mano for your listening (and dancing?) pleasure, backed by bassist Grant Wibben.

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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