Valentines Day and More: 2.14 – 2.20

February 14, 2018

Today is Valentines Day, or as some people put it, Single Awareness Day. Whether you are coupled up or not there is music out there to enjoy on this day and for the rest of the week, with more visiting artists than we’ve had for the last month or so, as well as some special appearances by resident artists. Just get out and let the music lift your spirit.


Wednesday, Feb 14

Chris Bates Presents: Astrologers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Chris Bates, bass; John Keston, keys; and Randy Kramer, drums gather to perform sonic experiments. Plus, for this night only, V-Lo will have her famous tacos available.

Thursday, Feb 15

Greer & Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah Greer and guitarist Dean Magraw are both sensitive and imaginative artists who should produce some fine music together.

Manhattan Transfer & Take 6 @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($27 – $89) Vocal Harmonies will abound with this meeting of two long-running groups: the acappella Take 6, and the jazz-centric Manhattan Transfer. They’ll each perform their own songs, and sing about a dozen songs together.

Friday, Feb 16

Babatunde Lea & Ensemble CHOMBO @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Master drummer-percussionist-conguero Babatunde Lea has gathered a new group of musicians to play some Latin Jazz, at least that’s what I get from looking at ther line-up: Trèveris Arteaga, trumpet/percussion/vocals; Viviana, piano/vocal; Jax Ravel, bass; Kevin Washington; timbales/percussion; and Lea; congas/percussion.  Here’s Lea with a different band.

James Buckley Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Bassist Buckley has been called the “hardest working musician in the Twin Cities” by City Pages. He’s appeared on Steven Colbert’s show with Lizzo, tours and records with the Pines, and the Blenders, and has appeared at Coachella with the Gayngs, in addition to leading this trio, with the equally talented Bryan Nichols on piano, and JT Bates on drums. Here’s the Trio at the old Artists’ Quarter.

Saturday, Feb 17

Love Songs with Debbie Duncan & Friends @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($12 – $20) Featuring William Duncan III on Hammond B3 Organ, and Adi Yehsaya on piano. If you were too late top see a Valentine’s Day, or perhaps celebrated at home, you can still celebrate the joys of love with Ms Diuncan and friends.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) You can hear the future of jazz at 7pm, thanks to the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, which tonight features the group Elevator Jazz, with: Eli Zukor-Zimmermann,  sax; Jackson Wheeler, – guitar; Lasse Corson, piano; Jon Butler, bass; and Carter Pearson on drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Sam Miltich Quartet featuring Dave Karr, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Jay Epstein, drums, and the amazing Miltich on guitar. Here’s Miltich with a different group.

Jazz from the Americas and Beyond @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentI D) This is a monthly series that features area musicians exploring jazz from around the world. Tonight features Chino Latino, a 7-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble playing a variety of dance styles including salsa, cha-cha, and merengue, among others. A free salsa dance lesson will start off the evening.

Monday, Tuesday, Feb 19, 20

Stanley Jordan Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Mon, Tues ($25), 9pm Mon ($20) Guitarist Jordan revolutionized gutar playing with his “touch technique” back in 1985. Since then, he’s had a storied career, performing in over 60 countries, collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey and Sharon Ibsin, to Christian McBride, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, the Dave Mathews Band, and Regina Carter. A must see for guitarists and guitar lovers.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Feb 20, 21

Connie Evingson: Horn Heroes @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Ms Evingson is a sterling vocalist who certainly knows how to create performance concepts to keep things interesting. For these shows, she and her musical cohorts:  Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Tanner Taylor, piano; will celebrate such horn players as Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and more.

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, Feb 14

Miss Becky Kapell & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While Ms Kapell may have started out as a folk singer, she has evolved into a singer of classic country from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. She’ll be helped out by Ray Bernard and Paul Bergen, of the Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound.

Music by Lovers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This annual event, put on by Lisa Wenger & Billy Larson, has been held in a variety of venues over the past few years. This year’s other performers are: Phil & Tamar Barnett, and Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm. The club is also offering a $35 feast for two lovers for this event.

Jorma Kaukonen @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance/$35 Door) Spend your Valentine’s evening with a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, which was last at The Dakota a few years back. Kaukonen is also a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and a Grammy nominee, and is known for his fine guitar work, both electrically and acoustically. As a solo artist, he brings new arrangements to old blues song, and creates his own Americana tunes.

Thursday, Feb 15

Masters of Hawaiian Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s a mini slack key guitar festival, with three masters, featuring George Kahumoku Jr, who is known as a raconteur on stage, as well as for leading the Annual Maui Slack Key and Ukelele Workshop for 15 years. Led Kapana has been one of Hawaii’s most influential musicians for forty years or so, while Jeff Peterson is known for his versatility, having worked with Eric Clapton, James Galway, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, and the Honolulu Symphony.

TC Jammers @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (6$) Back in the 80s, the Jammers were one of the hottest blues/funk bands around. This reformed version of the band features Annie Mack, vocals; Joe Elliot, guitar; Donnie La Marca, keys; Patrick Nelson, bass/vocals; Sam Kuusisto, vocals/guitar; and Bobby Vandell, drums/vocals. Don’t be surprised if some guests sit in.

Friday, Feb 16

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Blueswoman Kelly Hunt is a piano pounder from Kansas City  who has found an adoring audience in the Twin Cities, thanks to her good humor, a story-telling way with lyrics, and a strong left hand on the piano. Her latest CD, The Beautiful Bones, has garnered much praise. I did an interview with her back in December of 2011, which you can find here.

Saturday, Feb 17

Vieux Farka Touré @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32, $38) Born in Mali, the son of legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré, took up guitar in spite of his father’s misgivings about the life of a musician. His fluid playing has earned him fans around the world since his first recording in 2005. Touré’s third album, from 2011, features Dave Mathews, John Scofield, and Derek Trucks, a testament to his ability to blend genres. Subsequent albums expand on that promise. Expect genre-bending and at the very least, a nod to the blues rock of Malian groups like Tinariwen.

Marimba Bullies @ Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) From the website: The Marimba Bullies is a Twin Cities-based marimba ensemble playing upbeat, high-energy music based on the rhythmically complex music of the Zimbabwe mbira tradition. The Bullies’ repertoire consists of traditional African songs as well as arrangements of contemporary music performed in the lively, danceable, and just plain fun style that is unmistakably the Marimba Bullies.

Eddies CD Release @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 7:30 (No Cover) This “almost a cappella group is releasing their second album, called A Hard Way To Go, with fifteen songs they have sung over the years, with an emphasis on the “work” and “death” categories of their song list, including Sympathy for the Devil, Long Black Veil, and Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Thed Dubliner will have beer and wings specials to help the celebration.

Sunday, February 18

2nd Annual Retirement Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) It was about a year ago, that Dee Miller held a belated party to celebrate her retirement from the 9-5 world of work. She had so much fun, she’s doing it again. This time, in addition to performing with her own Dee Miller Band, she’s bringing along both Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts, and Who Nu.

FLOWTUS @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) The Conservatory has a great winter series, which takes place in the sunken garden, and is piped into the Palm Dome and the North Garden, so you can hear the music while strolling through or sitting in those parts of the Conservatory. Today the featured group is FLOWTUS, a four-piece group that draws they influences from blues, country, punk, and folk music. Beer and wine are available for purchase.

Steve Page & the Art of Time Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($30, $40, $45) Pop-oriented chamber music for the 21st Century, featuring re-imagined versions of songs by Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Radiohead, and others, including Barenaked Ladies (Steve Page was a co-founder and former lead singer), by Page and the highly inventive Art of Time Ensemble.

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.

Warm Days, Musical Nights: 9.30 – 10.6

September 30, 2015

1dd9e618-0e04-4a3b-86e7-e0f9683ab9ccWell, the leaves haven’t popped just yet: the days are warm and the nights require a jacket. But soon we’ll be in the midst of full-fledged Fall, thinking about keeping warm. You can do so by clapping and whooping it up for the musicians enriching your lives through their performances. We have a week featuring lots of different artists plying jazz, blues, roots, and world music, and even a performance with a painter creating to music. Get out and support creativity in its many forms. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, September 30

Steve Hobert and Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The ever-imaginative pianist Steve Hobert teams up with the ever-creative guitarist Dean Magraw for a special evening of music.

Thursday, October 1

UnknownJayanthi Kyle and Miss Pennie’s Microphone @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Kyle is an up and coming vocalist who has been heard in a number of different groups in town, including the gospelized Black Audience, the R&B-ish Bain, and others. She’ll be accompanied by David Crittenden on classical guitar and Bryan Nelson on violin.

Friday, October 2

Pete Enblom Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Enblom is a 40 year veteran, having played lead trombone, for the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He currently is lead trombone for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and has played behind such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, and Frank Sinatra. Tonight he leads the following: Bob Bowman, bass; Clay Pufahl, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums.  

Dark Blue Quartet: Live Painting Experience @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A combination of performing and visual arts as Tim Nyberg paints while the Dark Blue Quartet plays. Dark Blue is a quartet of relatively young players: Dylan Nelson, guitar; Alex Burgess, drums; Thomas Strommen, sax; and Jason McLean bas.

Saturday, October 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm  ($10 Suggested Donation)  Opening at 7pm: Debut performance of a group of young players to watch: The Jordan Anderson Group with Adam Astrup, guitar; Ben Beyene, drums; Isaac Ash, bass; and Jordan Anderson, piano. at 8:30pm: The Deconstruction Zone playing an evening of deconstructed jazz standards and a few original compositions. Anthony Cox, bass & cello; Bryan Nichols, piano; Davu Seru, percussion, Steve Kenny, brass; plus special guests.

JazzMN Orchestra w/Wayne Bergeron @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($34) Trumpeter Bergeron is popular with this Orchestra and its audience. His featured solos can be heard on a number of films and TV shows.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No cover) The lounge at Crooners may prove to be a perfect setting for the sweet vocals of Ms Shorai, who is likely to include some of her own pop-oriented originals in her program tonight.

Bob Bowman & Michael Shults Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Bowman, from Kansas City, is a bassist who has played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and with singers Carmen McRea and Karrin Allyson. He’s been coming up here quite frequently to play with Laura Caviani as well. Michael Shults is a first-call saxophonist in Kansas City, and is a featured soloist on the well-received Bobby Watson CD, The Gates BBQ Suite from 2010. They’ll be joined by Dan Leahy on piano and Mac Santiago on drums.

Sunday, October 4

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Theater Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham and cohorts from MacNally Smith and elsewhere hold forth at the Bedlam, jamming on jazz standards, playing an original or two, and inviting select friends to join in at various times during the evening. Here’s a brief preview.

Tuesday, October 6

Butch Thompson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Tables will be placed on the dance floor to turn the lounge into a listening room so the audience can fully appreciate Thompson’s piano playing. He’ll tell stories of early jazz and perhaps play his clarinet as well. Here he is, in case you’ve never heard him.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm (?) Once again, veteran brass player Steve Kenny joins up with players who are his junior by 20 years or more: Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. This trio regularly plays together, so the addition of Kenny on FLUMPET™ should cause some very interesting musical sparks.

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 jazz in the Twin Cities, check out these blogs: Jazz Police, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 30

Burns, Hayes, & Hayes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Old school blues from three guys who have been at it in various groups since the dawn of the first blues revival. Harpist Tom Burns currently plays with Mississippi Driftwood, and in the past has played with the Joel Johnson Band, the Blue Diamonds, and with Queen Sylvia. Guitarist Larry Hayes was an original member of Lamont Cranston and went on to form the Tonearms. Brother Brian Hayes was with the Alley Katz back in the day, and currently performs solo. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head to the 331.

Hannah Von Der Hoff & the Dangertones @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10 pm ($6) Von Der Hoff is a soulful singer with serious pipes, who does a fine job updating 60s soul music from Aretha Franklin, et al, and then ups the ante with her own originals.

Thursday, October 1

Maria Muldaur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) So, Muldaur is at a point where she can do the multi-media approach to regaling us with tales of her career while singing her hits and current faves.

Willie Murphy and Rena Haus @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a fun combination of singer/songwriters, with an emphasis on acoustic blues. Murphy is the legendary singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist/producer who chose to continue to live in the Twin Cities rather than move to the coasts to record and produce after the 1969 release of Running Jumping, Standing Still with Spider John Koerner. Rena Haus is a singer/guitarist/songwriter who lives on a farm NE of the Twin Cities and comes to town to regale us with songs about chickens, mechanics, big business, and the vicissitudes of love.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Brian Gallagher, sax; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Pete Hennig, drums; Yohannes Tona;  bass. Julius Collins on vocals. Add this group to the list of performers to watch, as this is their debut performance. Each of the players all has scads of experience, in large part thanks to their imaginative playing. The addition of Collins, with his versatile voice, is icing on the cake. Here’s a clip of Collins.

Friday, October 2

Ginger Commodore & GCQ @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Commodore has a resume that spans genres and is very long: Sounds of Blackness; the Minnesota Opera; Mixed Blood; Penumbra; The Chiffons; Moore by Four; and much more.

JW Jones @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) This Canadian guitar slinger and vocalist tours constantly and with his singing and playing has earned praise from the Dan Ackroyd, and American Blues Revue magazine, in addition to his being nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy). He’s released 8 albums, and his guitar playing has been compared to a combination of T-Bone Walker, Johnny Guitar Watson, and Clarence Gatemouth Brown.

Maurice Jacox @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Well respected vocalist Jacox brings his smooth baritone to a program of Nat King Cole meets acoustic Motown with a shot of R&B to the basement club.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) An increasingly rare opportunity to see Davina and the guys let loose for dancers.

Saturday, October 3

Vieux Farka Tourre @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) The connection between African music and the Blues may become evident when you hear Touré play the guitar. This Malian musician has earned gushing praise from both Rolling Stone and the LA Times.

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Narrows Blues Saloon, Wayzata. 8:30pm (No Cover) A chance for dancers in the Western suburbs to get down to funky horn bad.

The Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Let the Bon Tons Roulet! This trio is entirely appropriate for the New Orleans themed basement club, as they play a rollicking mix of Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans R&B.

Sunday, October 4

Viva Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) sensuous rhythms, beguiling vocals, and spot-on musicianship from this septet of international musicians will have you dancing in your seat, if not on the dance floor.\

Afro-Cuban All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50), 9pm ($45) Dazzling percussion and intricate rhythms explode wit excitement when it’s group takes the stage. No doubt there will be salsa dancing in the aisles

Tuesday, October 6

Fat Chance Jug Band and Friends @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) To say that jug band music is casual is an understatement. The combination of homemade and acoustic instruments is effective for a back porch jam, or in this case, a gathering of the always-reliable Fat Chancers and their like-minded guests in a friendly setting.

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

Music for a Holiday Weekend: 7.3 – 7.9

July 3, 2013

UnknownWell, even though we’ve a four day holiday weekend on tap, there is plenty of music available for those of you who don’t go Up North. Almost every July 4th celebration will have music of some sort. I’ve highlighted the music at two of them. For videos, photos, and a few more links, check out my blog.

In the news: Music lovers are disappointed in the City of Minneapolis for suddenly enforcing some archaic rules about where music can be played and have forced the Riverview Wine Bar from presenting live music. Zacc Harris has the details and how you can help at this FaceBook Page.

Remember, music brings us together.


Wednesday, July 3

Jean-Brice Godet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:00pm. (Donation – Tip Jar) Godet is a clarinetist who is particularly skilled on the bass clarinet, that incredibly warm and woody-sounding instrument. Expect flashes of technical brilliance as he pops, squawks, and makes other-worldly sounds interacting freely with Nathan Hansen, sax; Bryan Nichols, keyboards; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Thursday, July 4

Unknown-1Wolverines Big Band 40th Anniversary Concert @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 6pm – 10pm (Free) This holiday concert features the vocals of Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Judi Donaghy Vinar, celebrating the 4th in style. Can it really be 40 years since the band started performing?

Friday, July 5

JoAnn Funk @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Now that her “winter gig” at the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar is over for the summer, you can still catch JoAnn and Jeff Brueske on bass at this Italian restaurant’s small lounge. JoAnn sings and plays piano on a wide variety of material, from Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole to Leonard Cohen and Dan Penn.

James Buckley Trio @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Free) While the noise level of diners can be a bit din-ful, scoring a table in front of the stage will help you appreciate the interaction between Buckley, bass; Bryan Nichols,keys; and JT Bates on drums.

Saturday, July 6

Talking Strings @ Porter & Frye Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover) The Cities may be a little emptier than usual this evening, making it that much easier to get out and hear the outstanding Latin/jazz stylings of Talking Strings: Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Andrew Foreman, bass. It’s an intimate spot, with booths as well as tables.

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm. ($5) Jake has gathered four other relatively recent post HS grad to form an exciting young quintet. With Nelson Devereau, sax; Cory Grindberg, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. If you’ve any interest in the newest generation of jazz musicians, this is the place to check out some of the area’s brightest rising stars.

Sunday, July 7

Beasly’s Big Band @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Ahh, a Sunday evening next to the lake while the sounds of a big band inspires dancers and toe-tappers alike.

Monday, Tuesday, July 8, 9

Pharaoh Sanders @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Sanders‘ saxophone playing has garnered accolades from the likes of John Coltrane (with whom he played) and Ornette Coleman, among others. He was part of the free jazz movement of the 60s and 70s, played with Sun Ra, and is equally at home, and equally lyrical playing greasy blues, ballad standards, and modal explorations. Here is is doing a song that was a hit for Johnny Mathis.

Tuesday, July 9

A Chris Olsen Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:20pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A quartet of some of the area’s top-notch players. Chris Olson, guitar; Kristin Sponcia, piano & vocals; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, July 3

Dustin Busch on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Country Blues and a bit o’ slide guitar from this Iowan who’s been mentored by Dave Moore and Joe & Vicky Price.

Derobe Dance Band & Black Market Brass @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) An evening of Afrobeat fueled funk and dance music. Derobe is an eleven piece outfit led by Cory Wong, guitar, and Eric Foss, drums, both of Secret Stash Records, re-issue label for many African recordings. Black Market Brass is a ten-piece ensemble that uses the music of Fela as inspiration to create its own sound. I’m hearing some of the Daptone groups, like the Budos Band, and Menaham Street Band, in their approach as well. Check out this video of Derobe.

Thursday, July 4

Powderhorn Park Celebration @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 1pm -10pm (Free) The annual South Minneapolis celebration features lots of music, including Latin American folk music from Alma Andina 3:30 – 4:30); superb picking from guitarist Phil Heywood (6-7pm); and the blues of Detroit Don King 8-9:15). Of course, there will be fireworks at 10pm.

Unknown-3The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip jar) Okay, so maybe the idea of watching fireworks isn’t appealing. Listening to musical fireworks can be just as energizing, without the ash fall-out. The Butanes at Shaw’s could be just the thing, not to forget Shaw’s Thursday BBQ specials.

Friday, July 5

Cadillac Kolstad, Liquor Pigs @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Liquor Pigs start at 7pm. Cadillac Kolstad at 9pm. Freewheelin’ Jackson Buck once agains brings a couple of rootsy groups to the Tap Room for a fun-filled evening. Both acts are now part of the West Bank music tradition. The Pigs are a loose group of musicians that create a devil-may-care atmosphere with their songs of drinking and regret. Cadillac takes his musical cues from early rockabillies and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s a wild man at the piano, and thoroughly entertaining.

Malamanya & Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 8pm (No cover) Start your Friday evening with the hot rhythms of Malamanya, a wellspring of Cuban son, and other Latin sounds. Continue at 10pm with the rare funk & soul sounds of Hotpants East, using hot 45s to fill the dance floor.

Saturday, July 6

LAssassinsPostcardALOHAmedres_opt_zpsf6e3a428Mondo Tiki-A-Go-Go @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Get out your Hawaiian shirts and retro Tiki-wear for a Hawaiian cook-out and dance party. L’Assassins, that female power rockabilly group, headlines, along with Southside Desire, Kiss or Kill, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch. Bring your dancing shoes, or simply enjoy the sight of swing dancers of various styles struttin’ their stuff on the comodious dance floor.

Sunday, July 7

Zeitgeist @ Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan. 6:30pm. (Free – $5 Suggested Donation) Here’s a way to hear some interesting music whilst strolling through the rolling hillsides of Caponi Art Park.  California composer Hugh Livingston will present  a multi-channel sound installation, along with the live performance of Zeitgeist. As you walk around the park you will experience  birdsongs, wind rushing through the trees, and trickling water from the stream, as well as the sounds of Zeitgeist and the sound installations. Art and nature at the same time.

Monday, July 8

Vieux Farka Toure @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The son of late, much acclaimed Ali Farka Toure, this Malian guitarist is taking the connection between Malian music and the blues a step or two further, incorporating elements of reggae, R&B, & funk into the bluesy tones of his native country. With five well-recieved albums to his credit, including Mon Pays, a tribute to his home country, this promises to be a sterling show. Here’s an example of his guitar playing.

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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