August Already: 8.1 – 8.7

August 1, 2018

The Harriet Band shell is always a sweet place for music.

As Captain Obvious would say, “It’s August!”  Don’t worry. We still have many outdoor music events taking place besides those I’ve listed for this week. We also have a CD release party, two visiting guitar masters, as well as two guitar masters from the area, Cajun music from Louisiana, an Early Music festival and a tent revival of sorts (in a jazz club) featuring gospel greats The Blind Boys of Alabama.  Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 1

Matt Trice/Steve Hirsh Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8;30pm ($10, $5w/validstudent ID) Drummer Steve Hirsh is a founder of the free-jazz group Le Voyage. Saxophonist Matt Trice was mentored by Pete Whitman and was a member of the last class to receive a B.M. in performance from McNally Smith before it closed. They’ll be joined by bassist Pat keen for the second set.

Judi Vinar & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12) This show is titled The Great Melodies, and with Vinar on vocals and Carlson on piano, they should indeed be great.

Thursday, August 2

Will Kjeer Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Kjeer, piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums. Pianist Kjeer may still be studying in college, but he’s already talented enough to head up a group of veterans from the TC jazz scene. This is part of the All Originals JazzSeries, highlighting resident ensembles playing their own compositions.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) Free improvisation from a trio formed in late 2007 by Philip Mann and Ryan Reber, along with their longtime friend and collaborator, Rick Ness.

Friday, August 3

Hoaxer, Bruce Acosta Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) It’s an evening of young, emerging artists as two groups of college-age musicians take the stage. At 7pm it’s the Bruce Acosta Trio with: Acosta, guitar; Abeb Stafford, organ; and Ben Erlich, drums. At 8:30 – Hoaxer: Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Saturday, August 4

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This classic cocktail lounge will reverberate with vocalist/saxophonist Jacox’s mix of Jazz, Blues, and R&B. He’ll be accompanied by Thomas West, piano; and Robb Stupka, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (TipJar) At 7pm: Northing, with: Aaron Hedenstrom, alto; Mara Syman, alto; Nick Syman, trombone; Josh Becker, Bass Trombone; Pete James Johnson, drums. 8:30pm: The Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris bates, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums.

MN Hard Bop Collective @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This time around, drummer Jesse Simon and his band take on the compositions of African American trumpeters. Besides Simon, the band includes: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Jordan Anderson, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Sunday, August 5

Sarah M. Greer CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Ms Greer is releasing her debut CD, “What the Music Says, Do.” It reveals Greer as a singular talent at writing, singing, and arranging, as shown in songs whose subjects range from hope and inspiration to love and social consciousness. She’ll be joined by Anthony Cox, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Nathan J. Greer, drums; as well as guests Dean Magraw, guitar; and vocalists Jayanthi Kyle and Mankwe Ndosi of the Give Get Sistet, all of whom appear on the CD.

Monday, August 6

Brian Handeland @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Brian Handeland plays sax, clarinet, and flute in bands that range from The JazzMN Orchestra and The Twin cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, to the Brass Barn Polka Band and Machinery Hill. Tonight he plays music of his own choosing, followed by the weekly Monday Night jam session.

Tuesday, August 7

Nels Cline 4 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35 Table, $30 Bar), 9pm ($30 Table, $25 Bar) Guitar enthusiasts will be checking out Cline and band mate Julian Lage, with whom he recorded the two-guitar album Roomin 2014. The album was so well received that they put together this free-wheeling quartet with Scott Colley, bass; and Tom Rainey, drums. Rolling Stone listed Cline, who is also the leader of Wilco, as one of “100 Greatest Guitarists.”

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 1

Lonesome Dan Case on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI -90.3FM), 7pm(3321 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Dan Case heard artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson on the radio when he was a teenager, and the budding guitarist was hooked. Since then he’s immersed himself in country blues, to the point where his singing and playing sound as if he’s a blues troubadour of long ago.

Paul Thorn & Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $52, $60), 9pm ($35, $42, $50) Paul Thorn, a singer/songwriter, raconteur, and the son of a Southern preacher-man, is touring in support of his old-school gospel recording, Don’t Let The Devil Ride. He describes its blend of soul, rock, & gospel as being “like taking a six-pack to church.” Besides his rock band, Paul will be accompanied by the Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama. No wonder he calls the show Mission Temple Fireworks Revival.

Thursday, August 2

The Best of Second City @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30, $38) The long-running satirical comedy/sketch troupe that was a launching pad for the likes of Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more brings the best sketches from its history to the Cedar.

Jillian Rae, Brian Just @ Music in Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Classically trained violinist Jillian Rae is the go-to musician for many bands looking to sweeten, or add some old-time flavor to their sounds. The vocalist/composer also leads her own quartet in an amalgam of pop/rock/roots. Brian Justopens, which is fitting, since Rae once played in his psych/pop quintet.

Friday, August 3

Rich Lewis Band @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Guitarist/singer Lewis was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boysback in the 70s. Today he and his cohorts – the number of which vary from gig to gig – play originals, old-school R&B, and even some classic rock, though often in a more R&B-ish way.

Gina Forsyth & The Mid-City Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Doors at 7pm, Dance Lesson at 7:15pm. This New Orleans trio performs the traditional Cajun music as found in Lafayette, LA. Members are: Cameron Dupuy, The Accordion king of New Orleans; his father Michael Dupuy, guitar; and Forsyth, fiddle& vocals.

Friday, Saturday, August 3,4

Shelby J @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) You’ve likely seen Shelby J with Prince during his outstanding 2007 Super Bowl half-time show. Since then, she and her neo-soul band have toured with Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Santana, Larry Graham, and others.

Saturday, August 4

Twin Cities Early Music Festival Concerts @ Saint Paul Conservatory Music Concert Hall, 1524 Summit Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30pm,  8pm ($20 adult, $10 Student for 1 ticket, $35 Adult, $125 Student for 2 concert tickets) There will be two concerts tonight in the former church near Snelling Avenue. The first, at 6:30pm, features Dance Music of the French Courts, performed by the Twin Cities Early Music Collective, while the second, at 8pm features French Music from Medieval to Baroque, as performed by Ensemble Spezzatura. For more information, about these performances and others in this series, go to; https://www.tcearlymusic.org

Belfast Cowboys @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) A large rock band playing the music of Van Morrison and others, while sailboats glide by in the distance and planes fly overhead.

Sunday, August 5

Natania & Ticket to Brazil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7pm (Free) Hot Sambas, Cool Bossa Novas, Brazilian Jazz, and you, enjoying a picnic and a warm summer night.

Tuesday, August 7

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Twin Cities bluesman Curt Obeda and New Orleans guitarist/singer Camille Baudoin (ex-Radiators) were friends long before Baudoin decided to move to Minnesota after the Radiators broke up. You can tell by their easy camaraderie and musical communication.

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


Talent Abounds: 7.25 – 7.31

July 25, 2018

Alma Andina, appearing at the Cedar

This week’s music offerings once again include jazz from emerging talents on summer vacation from college, as well as some intriguing presentations from jazz veterans. We also have some visiting artists presenting world music, a couple of rockers, and two veteran soul men to touch our emotions and shake our hips. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 5

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul 8pm ($6) Pianist Will Kjeer is making the most of his summer vacation, playing around town in various groups including Hoaxer, which he co-founded, and Group 47, as well as leading his own trio, as he does tonight, with Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Skyscaper Wits @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The warm, intimate vocals of Ms Hixson  and the ever-tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson combine to bring us the wittiest writers of the Great American Songbook: Lorenz Hart; Dorothy Fields; Noel Coward; Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Cole Porter; and others. They’ve performed this program in London, Manhattan, and Portland, OR, and now we get to hear it.

Thursday, July 26

Fred Steele: Baritone 201@ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. &;30pm ($25, $30) Actor/singer/producer Fred Steele will give us a bit of baritone history by singing songs made famous by baritones from Broadway to Las Vegas, including material from Harry Belafonte, Harry Connick Jr, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, & others.

Chrisette Bany @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Back when Crooners had open jam sessions, vocalist Bany’s appearance at the mic caused Larry Dunsmore, the late co-founder of the club to declare, “Discovering your talent is rather akin to seeing a new comet for the first time.”

Riverdog @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5-$10)  Leo Remke-Rochard, electronics; Jack Dzig, drums. Remke-Rochard  was surrounded by music growing up, especially free improvisation, so his appearance at this boundary bending venue seems only natural.

Friday, July 27

Django Festival All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30, $35) High energy “hot jazz” from some of Europe’s most talented oerformers of the genre, including guitarist/violinist Dorado Schmitt and his sons Samson and Amati.

Peter Goggin’s Glass Bead Games @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 ($10) Here we have some college-age talented musicians playing with a resident master on the drums: Goggin, alto; Jordan Anderson, piano; Sam Worthington, bass; Phil Hey, drums

Saturday, July 28

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul, MN. (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm: The Joan Hutton Trio with Matt Peterson on bass.  Hutton plays sax and clarinet, and is a member of the Ancia Quartetas well as an educator and composer. At 8:30, The Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band, 16 pieces strong, featuring a strong generational cross-section of resident musicians.

Monday, July 30

Depths, George Marich Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) JT Bates is the curator of the Monday Night’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse, presenting forward looking groups such as tonight.  1st Set is from Depths: Cole Pulice, sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin cornet; Adam Zahler, electric guitar. 2nd Set by the George Marich Trio: George Marich, drums; Ted Godbout, piano; Josh Granowski, bass.

Tuesday, July 31

Katia Cardenas Video Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Vocalist Katia Cardenas grew up in a musical family and learned to integrate both jazz and R&B in her performances. Tonight she’s celebrating the release of her music video for There Will Never Be Another You, the Harry Warrner song that’s a staple of her repertoire. Besides showing the video, she’ll be performing with her finely tuned, stellar band: Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Beth Varela, drums, as well as backing vocalists Sheridan Zuther and Andrina Brogden.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 25

Kashimana @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Singer/songwriter Kashimana was born in Nigeria and moved to Kenya with her family when she was 8, where she lived until coming to the Twin Cities to go to college. She has a warm presence and sings catchy, simple songs in a soulful voice.

Medicinal Purposes on the House Party (KFAI, 90,3FM) and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) This Iowa Duo knows that music heals. Cowgirl Pearl Breitbach and Scott Kerry Guthrie have each been in many other groups, but now they create originals as well as original arrangements. Of course, you can listen to them before deciding whether to attend their performance at the 331 Club.

Thursday, July 26

Lee Fields & The Expressions @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm Doors. ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This is the Under-The-Radar gig of the week, since original soul man Fields has received minimal airplay here in town. Fields has been plying his craft since 1969, touring with folks like Kool & the Gang, OV Wright, and Darrell Banks, as well as releasing dozens of singles, and most recently, a quartet of albums that have taken him and The Expressions to sold-out shows around the world. Between Fields’s sandpapery-yet tender voice, and the Expressions tight musicianship, you get a sound that encompasses the music of Sax, Fame, Motown, and Atlantic Records, yet copies none of them.

Friday, July 27

Johnny Rey & The Reaction CD Release @ The Hook& Ladder, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) As a founding member of Flamingo, which became the Flamin’ Oh’s, Rey has been a fixture of the Twin Cities rock scene for four decades. He’s got a new CD, “Modern Age,” and is celebrating its release tonight, with guests Little Man, and The Carnegies. 

Alma Andina Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13 Advance, $15 Door) As ten-year veterans of the area’s music scene, Alma Andina’s members come from throughout Latin America. They play a variety of Latin dance music, as well as modern Andean music using pan flutes and other traditional instruments. They’re releasing a new album tonight, and will be joined by Los Rolling Ruanasof Bogota, Columbia, whose intriguing goal is to put rural back in rock n’ roll.

Saturday, July 28

Rich Mattson & the Northstars @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rich Mattson is known for his work with the Glenrustles, Ol’ Yeller, and The Tisdales, though nowadays the “human jukebox,” as he’s known, is leading the Northstars. Also on the bill is Superior Siren, an all-female outfit whose eerie folk melodies might tempt sailors on Lake Superior, and Dirty Frames, a three-guitar, rockin’ quintet.

Boom Boom Stevie V & The Knockouts @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm (No Cover) Master harp slinger Steve Vonderharr and the Knockouts bring the blues to the bar in the basement of NOLO in the North Loop.

Monday, July 30

DakhaBrakha @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) This Ukrainian quartet plays world music with many influences, though they might also be characterized as a circus of oddness.

Tuesday, July 31

Femi Kuti & Positive Force @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50 Advance/$55 Door) Sweat-inducing, modern Afrobeat from a son of Fela, the guy who invented the genre.

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) West has performed with the late-era Meters, and has recorded with Allen Toussaint. Now, he lives here in Minnesota, and we get to hear his sweet, soulful voice.

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.

 


American Music: 7.4 – 7.10

July 4, 2018

Happy 4thof July! Traditional fireworks may not be happening in Saint Paul, and rain (or the threat of it) may keep you from attending other celebrations, but there are plenty of musical explosions coming to stages in our Twin Cities. We’ve got some young lions of jazz at play, as well as respected veterans, and visitors from Chicago, New Orleans, and Idaho. Have a safe and happy 4th, as well as the rest of the week. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 4

Adkins/Lincoln/Marich @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Most folks may be celebrating the 4th with outdoor celebrations & fireworks, but fireworks of a musical kind will be going on at Jazz Central, as a trio of young lions – Patrick Adkins, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and George Marich, drums – take the stage.

Thursday, July 5 

Bernadette Brownrigg Spray w/Owen Finch @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Brownrigg Spray is a 17year old vocalist with the esteemed Roseville HS jazz combo and ensemble. She’s participatedm in the MacPhail Jazz camp a couple of times now, and has already appeared at Crooner’s, the Black Dog, and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival as a member of the Dakota Foundation’s Experience Jazz Combo. She’ll be accompanied by young pianist Owen Finch.

Friday, July 6

Omar Abdulkarim Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Talented trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim has been increasingly gigging around town, performing both as a sideman, and as a leader, as he is tonight, with: Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Here he is with a trio.

Gin & Jazz Outdoors @ Day Block Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Free) The parking lot behind Day Bock will be filled with the sounds of the 8-piece brass band Brass & Bodyworks.

Saturday, July 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: KBT Trio, with Will Kjeer, piano; Alex Burgess, drums, and Adam Tucker, bass. 8:30pm: No Room for Squares: Dale Alexander, piano; James Wallace, tenor; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Steiger, drums.

Sunday, July 8

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michelle @ Cinema Ballroom, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12, $8 students) There’s a free dance lesson at 6:15, so you can be prepared to dance to the big band sounds of O’Hagan, swinging vocalist Charmin Michelle, and their cohorts. Here they are with guest pianist Clinton Clark.

Monday, July 9

Joyce Lyons: Jerome Kern @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) As a singer and actress, Lyons has played the Emcee in Cabaret in Denver, performed onstage in NYC, and even performed for the Supreme Court, in addition to working with Joe Beck, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Jay Leonhart. Tonight she performs the songs of Jerome Kern in the intimate Dunsmore Room. Here she is at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Tuesday, July 10

Lucia Newell Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Vocalist Lucia Newell has a warm, expressive voice. Her extended sojourn in Brazil during her younger days forms the basis for this evening’s Songs of Summer & Brazil. She’ll be accompanied by A-list musicians Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Atlantis Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Since its inception in 2006, The Atlantis Quartet’s blend of complexity, accessibility, and originality has made them one of the most popular jazz groups in town, receiving both area and national praise along the way. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums; are all highly skilled, inventive, and inspired in their pursuit of 21st Century jazz..

Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Enjoy lunch while listening to vocalist Engele swing her way through standards.

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

Blues, Roots, & Other…

Wednesday, July 4

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold on KFAI (90.3FM) and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Before you head out for fireworks, catch this blues duo on the radio and at the 331 Club.

Daddy Squeeze: Hankerin’ for Fats @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Accordionist Dan Newton plays and sings the songs of both Hank Williams and Fats Domino.

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Rocker and vocal force of nature Curtiss A explores the blues

Thursday, July 5 

Eilen Jewell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) She’s known as “The Queen of the Minor Key,” thanks to the bluesy Americana songs she writes and performs. Though her voice is relatively small, Jewell uses it effectively on country, folk, and rockabilly tunes, whether they’re original, or her own versions of songs by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, Loretta Lynn, or Memphis Minnie.

Bobby E & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bobby Has lots of friends, from Americana vocalist Kathy Mother, to drummer Erin woods, his band mates in Exotica A Go Go, and Maurice Jacox, so it’s hard to say who’ll be at this gig. His latest CD, Buzz Cauldron, is a fine slice of guitar tunes done with Eron Woods on drums, Tom Cravens on electric guitar, and Bobby on acoustic.

Friday, July 6

Mary Bue & Katy Vernon @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($8) It’s another singer/songwriter night at The Aster, as guitarist Mary Bue, who’s recorded seven albums, and ukelelist Katy Vernon  who’s just returned from her second tour of the UK, take the stage with the Mpls skyline as a backdrop.

Saturday, July 7

Jarrod Lawson Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Vocalist/pianist Lawson has a voice that’s a perfect vehicle for the songs of such soul stars as Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, and Donny Hathaway, and brings a contemporary touch to his own songs.

Claudettes @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) The Claudettes were at the Dakota in May, and now they’re bringing their piano-based high-energy blues across the river to Saint Paul. Founder Johnny Iguana came by his piano-pounding proclivities playing with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing on both rockin’ tunes and ballads.

Tuesday, July 10

Soul Tight Committee @ MN History Center, Saint Paul.6;:30pm – 9pm. Once again the History /center is presenting live bands on Tuesday nights during the Summer. It’s called Bands on the Boulevardand will feature music of the 60s to coincide with their 1968 Exhibit. Tonight it’s the Soul Tight Committee, an R&B horn band that’s loved by dancers.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 10, 11

Davell Crawford & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30, $35) It’;s a double dose of ‘Nawlins music, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford, the “Piano Prince ofNew Orleans,” and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band light up the stage.

Wednesday, July 11

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ Northrup Plaza, UofM Campus, Minneapolis. (Free) Grab a lunch and picnic on the plaza as two fingerpicking guitar champions play for your picnic.

For more blues (and some roots) listings, the MN Blues Society has a very useful calendar. For a comprehensive listing of all things Cajun and Zydeco, see the Krewe of Walleye’s calendar.


A Week Filled with Music: 6.20 – 6.26

June 20, 2018

Well this is a big week for jazz lovers as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place this weekend. There are links to my guide and the Jazz Fest official schedule in today’s post. Blues and roots fans have plenty to be happy about as well, what with the Devon Allman Project coming to town, along with Jesse Colin Young, and the Verve Pipe. Enjoy yourself. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, June 20

Mateusz Smoczynski Solo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15, $ w/Valid Student ID) Smoczynski has been touring the world with the Turtle Island Quartet, playing violin and baritone violin. He was named the best jazz violinist of 2017 by Jazz Forum, European Magazine, and is currently touring behind his album, Metamorphoses, which contains his original compositions inspired by classical music, jazz, and both Polish and American folk music.

Jim Rotondi/Eric Alexander & Dave Hazeltine Quintet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Shades of the old Artist’s Quarter! Trumpeter Rotondi, saxophonist Alexander, and pianist Hazeltine were all regulars at the AQ, and are reuniting with AQ owners Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass. Expect a bunch of hard bop staples along with a few originals. Here are Rotondi, Alexander, and Hazeltine in the group one For All.

Ghost-Note @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Robert Spot Starlight and Nate Werth have won multiple Grammys, and are known for their work with Snarky Puppy. For this project, they’ve enlisted some friends with vast experience in some funky groups to present music influenced by James Brown, J Dilla, and grooves from West Africa, Brazil, and Afro-Cuban sources.

Thursday, June 21

Sam Miltich  & Briand Morrison @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Two guitar masters interweave lead and rhythm parts while swinging Traditional and Gypsy Jazz.

Thursday – Saturday, June 21-23

Twin Cities Jazz Festival @ Various Stages and Venues, Saint Paul. This year’s headliners are well-established mainstream acts: Saxophonist Houston Person w/The Emmett Cohen Trio on Friday (see my interview with Emmett Cohen at http://jazzpolice.com. Saturday’s headliners start with Saxophonist Tia Fuller, who has received accolades for her playing, composing, and teaching, and also happens to be Beyonce’s music director. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgwater closes out the Main Stage on Saturday, performing the music of Memphis, her home town. She’s won three Grammys and a Tony, and in 2017 was named a Jazz Master. You should’ve received my guide in Tuesday’s email, or you can check it out on-line here. Of special note is Javier Santiago, appearing on the Main Stage Friday at 4pm. This performance marks the release of his CD Phoenix. The official schedule, along with bios on the headliners and all other performers can be found here.

Friday, June 22

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No cover) Trumpeter Baldwin is a “young lion” of the area’s jazz community, though the music that he plays at the Lex is well-suited to an audience that’s just looking for background music, those who pay a little attention will be delighted.

Saturday, June 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 4pm It’s a whole day’s worth of Jazz at the Black Dog as part of the Jazz Fest. See the Fest’s schedulefor details.

Sunday, June 24

MN Hard Bop Collective @ 56 Brewing, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar?) Drummer Jesse Simon rounds up some like-minded players to perform new interpretations of hard bop standards from the 50s and 60s.,

Connie Evingson: Ella Fitzgerald’s Johnny Mercer Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) This time Evingson uses her silken voice to interpret Johnny Mercer songs from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook.

Monday, June 25

Hoaxer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) This collective quartet of young musicians includes Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Caitlin, drums. Their 2017 debut album, Crash Test, shows a musical maturity beyond their years, withinfluences that range from jazz standards to rock, avant-garde, electronica and more. Here’s a short clip of Peter Goggin soloing with the band.

Tuesday, June 26

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Though he’s only 20 years old, pianist Will Kjeer has been playing professionally since high school, building a solid reputation as an improvisor and composer. He’ll be accompanied by two other sterling young musicians; Charlie Lincoln bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25-$40) The best organ player on the planet returns to Crooners, this time in the enlarged lounge space. The Chicago Tribune said of DeFrancesco  “He has dominated the instrument and the field as no one of his generation has.”

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 20

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folkie/Bluesman Cooker John plays solo, or occasionally in a duo setting nowadays, but back in the 90s he played in a band with Ben Kaplan, Dan Neale, and Bill Grenke, who are reuniting with John for this appearance.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Park Observatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Picnic on the grass outside the Conservatory while Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders play adrenalin-fueled blues. Plenty for kids to do, as well.

Thursday, June 21

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) If you didn’t make it to Steely Dan at the Excel last Friday, you can catch this 13 piece band, which is what it takes to present the music.

Friday, June 22

The Music of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, & Carly Simon @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Three excellent singers – Deb Brown, Rachel Holder, and Jana Anderson – tackle some classic tunes by three outstanding female singer/songwriters.

The Verve Pipe Acoustic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This Michigan-based, multi-platinum alt rock band scored a #1 hit with The Freshmen in 1996, and also charted with the radio hits, Photograph, HeroHappiness Is, and Never Let You Down. They’ve released 8 albums, including two family/kids records, as well as a couple of EPs and compilation albums. This acoustic performance is a rarity for a club.

Blue Book @ Nielsen’s Sports Bar & Grill, 4851 West 123rd Street, Savage. 9pm (No Cover) If you cross the Minnesota River and head to Savage tonight, you’ll get to see a new blues band put together by Steve Clarke, sax & vocals. It features John Della Selva, guitar; Maurice Jacox, sax and vocals; John Kozoil, piano; Dik Hedlund, bass; and Brad Steine, drums. Their repertoire includes classic blues and soul.

Saturday, June 23

The Devon Allman Project w/Duane Betts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($40,$45, $55) So what we have here are the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts giving us the next generation of Southern Rock: two guitars, burbling percussion, and a heavy blues and soul influence. Our very own Nicholas David is part of this tour, which generally includes some Allman Brothers tunes in the encore.

Sunday, June 24

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm-8pm (Tip Jar) This all-acoustic aggregation consists of Papa John Kolstad, Doug Otto, Albert Perez, and Dan Schwalbe on guitars; Mike Caravale, upright bass; and Hurricane Harold, harmonica.

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9pm ($20 Suggested donation to the artists) Two Championship Fingerpickers get together, with stunning results.

Tuesday, June 26

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) “Come on People Now, Smile on Your Brother, Everybody Get Together, Try to Love One Another Right Now.” Jesse Colin Young is known for more than that anthem from 1967 – he has prospered and received acclaim as a singer/songwriter – but for those who were active during the Summer of Love, Get Together, by the Youngbloods, with Young singing lead, will always be the song that comes to mind when his name is mentioned. The sentiment of the song is still relevant some 51 years later.

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! 12.27 – 1.2

December 27, 2017

I think I can safely say that most of us are looking forward to putting 2017 behind us. What with hurricanes, mass shootings, wildfires, “taking a knee,” sex abuse scandals, a political climate that could be called tumultuous at best, and locally, the unexpected closing of MacNally Smith Music College, we’re ready to start anew.

On a personal and positive note, my year was upended when I was diagnosed with significant health issues. Thankfully, I have responded very well, thanks to some excellent health professionals and, I believe, the good thoughts, vibes and prayers of family and a supportive community, including readers such as yourself. Thank you.

Another positive thing about the last year is the great talent that has performed in our Twin Cities, from both resident and visiting artists. We’re lucky to have a vital music scene, with high schools and regional colleges producing talented musicians to join a bevy of highly respected veterans. Evidence of emerging talent will be on display this week as a number of young jazz musicians are home on vacation and lining up to play. Roots and Blues groups continue to percolate up with brand new younger groups and realignments of veterans. Now… we’re in for a cold spell, but as hardy Minnesotans, I know that many of you will layer on the clothes and brave the weather to enjoy and support the talent in town. Here are some ideas for music that will lift your spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 27

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Talented pianist Will Kjeer is on a Christmas break from school in California, and will be joined by his uncle Kenny Horst on drums, and Billy Peterson on bass. Kjeer was already playing professionally while in high school, and since going to college has performed as a leader and sideman in Washington DC, Montreal; and at the fabled Lighthouse Cafe in Los Angeles. He is also a member of Steve Kenny’s Group 47. Tonight is truly a cross-generational meeting of musical minds. Arrive early to catch pianist Kevin Gastonguay from 6 – 7:30 (No cover)

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Tim Sparks, Prudence Johnson, and Tom Lieberman create wonderful three-part harmonies on tunes from the 30s and 40s, as well as on their original compositions. They are just as beloved today as they were back in the 70s and 80s.

Connie Evingson: Holiday @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($22) It’s not hard to think you’re in a cozy country lodge as you take in the Dunsmore’s view of a snow-covered lake during. Ms Evingson’s cool, yet sultry voice celebrates the season, as she did on The Secret of Christmas, her wonderful Christmas album of some year’s back. She’ll be accompanied by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Here’s a version of a Christmas chestnut from The Secret of Christmas.

Thursday, Dec 28

Kendra Glenn and Jazz Fly @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Glenn is a powerful, soulful singer, while JazzFly’s members have played with a wide list of both resident and national artists, ranging from Tower of Power and Avishai Cohen, to Ginger Commodore, Ricky Peterson, and members of Sounds of Blackness. Such experience makes the band and Glenn equally adept at blues, jazz, soul, and R&B. Here’s Kendra, along with her daughter Jalela.

Friday, Dec 29

Young Lions @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – No Exit), 10pm  (Ben Erlich Trtio) ($10, $5 w/valid Student ID) It’s a night of talented young musicians as things start off at 8pm with the No Exit Sextet, led by drummer Luke Peterson, and including  Peter Goggin, alto; Jack Coutwright, Trombone; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes; Adam Astrup, Guitar; and Charlie Lincoln, Bass. Then drummer Ben Erlich brings on his trio, including Will Kjeer on piano; and Charlie Lincoln, bass. Here’s a video from No Exit, from last summer.

Saturday, Dec 30

The Last Edition of Rhythm and Grooves @ KFAI, (90.3 and 106.7FM) 10:30AM – Noon. After 15.5 years in three different time slots, it’s time for me to move on. Note that I also hostedShake Up Southside for three years in the early 80s, and Streetlight Serenade for five years in the mid-80s. I’ll play a couple of songs from Shakeup, followed by their jazz versions, as well as a couple of vocal group harmony versions of standards from Streetlight, preceded by jazz versions of those songs. It’s not goodbye, just so long, as I’ll show up to help during pledge drives and hope to be called upon to sub for different shows, which is always a treat for me and hopefully for listeners. Tune in.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm DDT is composed of three veteran musicians: Dean Granros, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Tony Moreno, drums. At 8:30pm, a group of young and very talented musicians will perform. Hoaxer, which released their debut CD last summer, is Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bas; and Edmund Caitln, drums.

Sunday, Dec 31

Early & Late NYE @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5-8pm ($5 suggested donation), 9pm – ? ($20 Reserved on stage side, $5 non-stage) The Black Dog continues its tradition of a family-friendly early NYE celebration, this year featuring pianist Todd Harper’s Open Season Ensemble, with Aaron Kerr, electric cello, James Holdman, guitar; Chris Hagedorn, tenor; and Eric Couren on drums. After clearing the stage side, a jazz extravaganza will ensue, with a group of Twin Cities All-Stars featuring Dave Brattain, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums; PLUS special guests. It’s billed as safe and reasonably sane. This video features Steve Kenny’s Grou 47, with Will Kjeer, piano and composition.

Tuesday, Jan 2

Jon Weber’s History of the Piano @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $25) Pianist Weber, who is now based in NYC, is a master of musical trivia, host of NPR’s Piano Jazz, and a regular visitor to the Twin Cities and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. He’ll be performing in a number of piano styles to show how the piano has been used in music throughout history. Here’s a sample.

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, Dec 27

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This annual event is one of the few times that the Saint Paul-based Eddies cross the river to Minneapolis. Their appearances are even rarer now that guitarist Wyoming Brown (aka Paul) has moved out of town, so we’re lucky he’s visiting and we can hear their songs of life, work, and death, from traditional mountain songs to sea shanties and tunes by Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and Billy Joe Shaver. If you’ve not heard them, tune in and head over to the 331 if you want to hear more. Listen to this example.

The Skruffians @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This septet will get you moving with their infectious blend of Ska, Reggae, Soul, & Jazz, featuring Todd Baer, trombone; Joe Mayo, tenor; Jared Jarvis, baritone sax; Brian Knox, keys and melodica; Park Evans, guitar; Tom Hutton, bass; and Rick Nair, drums. Hers’s a sampling of their music.

Dress Like Deano @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Have you got a plaid flannel shirt and colorful sneakers? Then you can dress like Deano – that’s Dean Mikkelson, a fine guitarist who always has equally talented sidemen when he plays in the the “Big Green Booth” at Dusty’s. Expect jazzy, bluesy tunes, with perhaps, some guests. Here he is with the Mill City Hot Club, playing rhythm guitar for most of the song and soloing at about 3:10minutes.

Thursday, Friday, Dec 28, 29

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No cover, but guaranteed seat for $15) Classic country sounds from Eddy Arnold to Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette and Floyd Cramer, from an all-star group of longtime Twin Cities headliners and A Prairie Home Companion veterans: Dan Chouinard, Prudence Johnson, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Gary Rue, Pete Johnson, and Joe Savage.

Friday, Dec 29

Rena Haus @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) More proof that the new owners of Dusty’s are sticking with what works (They’ve also added music on Wednesdays) So… singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Haus Is back, singing humorous originals about relationships, farm animals, or the political and economic climate, as well as an occasional classic rock song. Backed by her brother Bob on bass and the under-appreciated guitar-meister Ed Petche, it’s an evening of highly entertaining performances.

Roots, Rock & Deep Blues 2018 Pre-Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Advance/.$12 Door) What better time to get up for a summertime party than in the midst of a spell of below-zero temperatures? To entice you out, tonight the Hook features a group that’s been an RRDB staple since the annual event started – Left Lane Cruiser, the punk bluesmen from Fort Wayne, Ind. Another regular is Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders, with their flat-out blues that would be a hot rod if it were a car. Joining in on the fun are Flatwater Mississippi and their psychedelic swamp blues, as well as Mutation playing metallic rock.

Saturday, Dec 30

Nooky Jones 4th Annual End of Year Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($15 Advance/$17 Door) 2017 was a big year for Nooky Jones as they sold out two consecutive nights at the Icehouse and co-headlined at the Fitzgerald Theater. They also released their debut album in July for fans who enjoy the band’s unique blend of soul, jazz, and undertones of hip-hop. Opening set by alternative should singer Jessica Manning, and between-sets music by DJ Keezy.

The “Committee” @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Maurice Jacox, Aisha Baker, and Deb Brown were all part of the Butanes Soul Review when it played at the Cabooze some 25-30 years ago, and recently for the 30th Anniversary of that group. They were also part of the Soul Tight Committee and the Lights Out Committee during much of the 90s. Tonight the three of them gather as “The Committee,” performing songs like Groove Me, Supernatural Thing, Rocking Chair, and other great soul songs of the 60s and 70s. Here they are performing in the Soul Tight Committee back when.

Sunday, Dec 31

Jaeden James & the Hunger @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. Doors at 9pm, music at 10:45pm ($20) This funk/soul ten-piece horn band has a high-energy attitude that’s almost punkish. They will surely ignite NYE revelers in celebration.

Joyann Parker Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 10:30pm ($30) Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Parker has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’ will ignite NYE partiers. She represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Additionally, her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society. Her versatility shows up in this duo setting.

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.


Let’s Go! Music: 7.27 – 8.2

July 27, 2016

 

Unknown-3Lots of great music this week, so let’s just get to it. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 27

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) After having a CD release at Vieux Carre for his five-piece Trucking Company last weekend, drummer Dave King brings bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to Crooners’ Dunsmore Room. King is well known for his stints with Happy Apple, Bad Plus, and the aforementioned Trucking Company, groups that traffic in avant/indie/experimental approaches to jazz. However, this trio, which has received rave reviews in the New York Times and on NPR, mines a treasure trove of standards from jazz and the Great American Songbook, bringing a fresh interpretation to songs each time they play.

Illicit Sextet 25th Anniversary of Chapter One Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) It’s 25 years or so since the Illicit Sextet  Minnesota’s first Jazz Composers Collective, released their debut album, Chapter One. Sooo, to celebrate, attendees will get a download card with admission, along with a printed package of original liner notes, design elements, and a number of reviews. Tonight’s shows will include selections from Chapte One, as well as from Chapter Eleven, the group’s second album, and music from the third, to be released in late Fall.

Graham O’Brien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/Student ID) O’Brien is a drummer and electronic music producer and composer from Saint Paul. For this interesting gig, he’ll be performing new music written for solo live performance in which he uses a custom electric-drum set.

Thursday, July 28

Jana Nyberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Nyberg’s easy facility with both jazz and pop have helped gain her numerous fans since she moved back to the Twin Cities in 2008. She’s recorded 3 CDs and appeared on season 10 of American Idol. She’s always backed by a stellar band, which includes her husband, trumpeter Adam Meckler.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts off at 7pm with VVG, which stands for Very Very Groovy, and considering the young lions in the group, should very well live up to the billing:  Josh Johnson, sax; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ben Beyene, drums; DeCarlo Jackson, bass. At 9pm Ruckus! appears, led by drummer Rodney Ruckus, who is celebrating his first year of living in the Twin Cities with three shows this week. He’ll be joined by international trumpeter Aaron Janik; young pianist Will Kjeer; veteran bassist Ron Evanuik; newcomer Jabari Powell on sax; and featuring Haylee Dee on Vocals.

Friday, July 29

Debbie Duncan with Ava McFarlane @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Brian Horst, owner of Details Salon and Boutique in downtown Saint Paul, is the person behind the successful Music in Mears events on Thursdays each summer. He’s now branched out with Rhythm in Rice, 10 weeks of globally inspired musicians, including tonight’s artist, Debbie Duncan  who will bring a jazz and R&B bent to the evening, with an emphasis on dancing. Ava McFarlane opens after dance lessons.

Pete James Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5/Student ID) Young Lions, progressive young masters, whatever you call them, this is a talented group of young musicians, of which none, I’m fairly sure, are over 30. They have a lot to communicate, including originals and their own arrangements of jazz standards. The group includes: Aaron Hedenstrom, saxes; Joe Strachan, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and leader Pete James Johnson on drums.

Will Kjeer Summer Band @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist Will Kjeer will be in town for a few more weeks before returning to college. In the meantime, he’s playing around with a number of groups, including this one which he leads, with Graydon Peterson, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums (he sure is busy this week); Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Stephanie Wielseler, recently returned to town, on sax. Here’s Will with a school group from a year ago.

Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8 cash only) Composer/pianist Walker and bassist Anthony Cox have put together a new group: The Port Arthur Quartet, along with Corey Healy on drums, and Brandon Wozniak on sax. Walker has collaborated with TU Dance and Zenon Dance, and written (and performed) 7 Psalms, for choir and jazz combo. Cox has been on over 100 recordings by internationally known musicians, including Geri Allen, Dewey Redman, John Scofield, and Joe Lovano, among others. Here’s Jeremy, in a typically contemplative mood, playing solo a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, July 29, 30

Jazz Town Hall: Black Music in the Twin Cities @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. Noon – 4pm (Free??)  Registration, Noon – 4pm. First hour is devoted to registration, then from 1pm – 4pm various presentations about Black Music in the Twin Cities, especially the marginalization of Black Jazz Artists, from Solomon Parham and Rodney Ruckus, hosts, Eric Kamau Gravatt, and others.

Saturday, July 30

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm, followed by the second of Rodney Ruckus’ shows this week, with a slightly different line-up than Thursday night at the Reverie (above): Aaron Janik, trumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Jax Ravel, bass; and Ruckus on drums.

PipJazz Women of Jazz Band @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($20) Vocalist Pippi Ardennia  athers up some outstanding musicians who happen to be female for this presentation. They include: Faye Washington, flute; Marilyn Parker, sax; Margo Brevik, bass; and three young musicians: Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Cymphony Jackson, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. Look for appearances from special guests Breanna Less, spoken word; and Heather McElrath, vocals. Here’s a news report about Pippi, with a little bit from Will Kjeer (see Friday).

Sunday, July 31

Jazz in the Vineyard with the Doug Little Quartet @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) I can really get behind the trend of wineries having jazz on Sunday afternoons. Saxophonist/flautist Doug Little brings a quartet to this, one of the first vineyards in Minnesota, to entertain while you taste wines and have some food, either from your own picnic, or from the vineyards store.

Monday, August 1

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/Student ID) In case you didn’t see him on Thursday at the Reverie or Saturday at the Black Dog, here’s your last chance to see drummer Ruckus and his group with visiting international trumpeter Aaron Janik. Aside from having Jax Ravel on bass; the lineup is the same as Thursday’s at the Reverie (above).

Tuesday, August 2

Sean Turner Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s something that doesn’t happen very often, a no-cover show in the Dunsmore Room. With a trio of outstanding musicians: Sean Turner, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, 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, July 27

Jillian Rae & Eric Martin @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Violinist/Vocalist/Songwriter Jillian Rae knows how to write a country-pop song with a hook that draws you in and keeps you there. See for instance, her song Heartbeat, which is also the title tune for her CD of a couple of years back. Rae is also proficient on guitar and piano, and teaches about 40 students at The Music Lab, her own music school, in addition to playing in a number of other bands besides her own. Today she’ll be performing with husband/guitarist Eric Martin in the sunny confines of the cortile of the Landmark Center.

Stephanie Niles on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Niles is a classically trained pianist (and cellist) who performed on NPR three times by the age of seventeen. After graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Music she landed in NYC, where she began writing and developing her barrelhouse/jazz punk style. She currently makes New Orleans her home, when she’ not out touring and gigging 150 shows a year.

Radio Joe & The Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Guitarist/crooner/songwriter Joe Demko and his swingin’ band of Jazzbos – Bruce Wintervold, vibes; Tony Guscetti, drums; Keith Boyles, bass – play music for dancing, whether it’s the “businessman’s bounce,” a simple foxtrot, or swing dancing.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Pianist/vocalist/songwriter Ball has been nominated for a Grammy five times, and for Blues Music Awards 44 times, winning 10 of those, as well as 9 Living Blues Awards, in addition to being inducted intto the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Louisiana Music Hall of ‘Fame in 2012. She delivers a rollicking set of blues, R&B, and Gulf Coast inspired originals and covers. I’ve seen her more than a half dozen times, in crowded, sweaty clubs, on the Dakota’s tony stage, and at festivals, and even on a steam boat, and she delivers every time.

Thursday, July 28

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Blues harpist/vocalist Steve Vonderhar has plenty of heart. He and the Knockouts will shuffles that will have the crowd at Neumann’s trying to dance among the tables.

Friday, July 29

Soul Tight Committee @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A ten-piece horn band that draws from 70s R&B, but will occasionally play songs from the 80s as well. Great for dancing.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) As the son of fiery blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks  a fine guitarist in his own right, grew up watching and absorbing the sounds of some of the finest blues and R&B artists of a previous era. He’s added a bit of rock and hip-hop to his influences and playing, proving that he can keep tradition while also looking towards the future. For his latest CD, “The Torch”, he worked with producer Jellybean Johnson, the Minneapolis guitarist who collaborated with Prince and Janet Jackson (and who, BTW, has a weekly Tuesday Night gig at MMC).

Aaron Kamm & the One Drops @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Aaron Kamm and the One Drops,  from Saint Loui,) manage to merge Roots Reggaie, Delta Blues, and soulful vocals while sometimes veering into jam-band territory. Natty Nation  from Madison, is another original band playing reggae and dub. Trichrome opens.

Saturday, July 30

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Revue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Harold Tremblay is one of the acknowledged harpmeisters of the blues in town, with a rolodex (or phone directory) filled with blues and roots players from the area and beyond. Once a month or so, he gathers up a bunch of them to play in the All Star Revue. No matter who is playing, the band, and the audience, has fun. Here’s one edition of the All Stars.

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapoils. 9pm ($10) Rockin’ Blues guitarist Thackery is a road warrior of the first order. He played with Muddy Waters and was the co-founder of the Nighthawks, recording and performing with them between 1972 and 1987, when he left to form his own group. He put together the three-piece Drivers in 1992, and started doing 300 shows a year. Though he tours less, his fiery guitar playing still thrills blues lovers everywhere.

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Vocalist PaviElle French grew up in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, and in the last couple of years has become an advocate of black soul music for the Millenial generation. She’s a fairly prolific songwriter, who has collaborated with bassist/producer/composer Casey O’Brien for this project, which was named one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2015. You’ll hear her originals and a couple of surprising covers, all done with a contemporary outlook and echoes of 70’s R&B.

Sunday, July 31

Siama Matuzungidi @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a late afternoon dose of uplifting music from Congalese guitarist Siama  one of the architects of Soukous, a sensuous rhythm that fills dance floors. He’ll be joined by Dallas Johnson on vocals and percussion, and the ubiquitous washboard man, Mikkel Beckman.

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vintage, often sassy, jazz and barrelhouse blues, including originals by this group  featuring vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Miss Myra, who has studied with Papa John Kolstad and Dean Harrington, and the Moonshiners: Zane Fitzgerald Palmer, guitar; Dolly Dagger, drums; and Ike Heath, tuba.

Monday, Tuesday, August 1, 2

Marc & Ted Broussard Acoustic Duo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45) Marc Broussard is a Louisiana born singer/songwriter who is at heart, a soul singer, doing original songs. Drawing on blues, funk, and R&B, his singing and songs reflect his Southern roots. He’ll be accompanied by his father Ted.

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.


New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

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 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

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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