Some August Shows of Note: 8.8 – 8.27

August 7, 2017

Greetings to one and all;

Thanks to all for the support, prayers, and positive vibrations being sent my way, which I’m sure continue to be helpful. My doctor is pleased with my progress so far, but this is a long-haul health issue, so we’ll just have to see how things progress.

At any rate, the Dog Days of August are upon us, and if you can’t find a pool or lake in which to swing, you can at least check out some exceptional music.  There are so many great shows on the horizon that I just had to list a few, though certainly not all. I’ll try to post again by the end of August, but in the meantime, you can use the calendar links at the bottom of this missive to find out other opportunities.

Jazz

Tuesday, August 8

Cyrille Aimee @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) As a teenager, she would sneak out of her home in the town where Django Rheinhardt lived out his life and hang at gypsy camps. As a college music student on a scholarship, she was the only vocalist SUNY Purchase, in the schools program, and spent lots of time absorbing the way instrumentalists soloed. She’s won a number of vocal competitions, and has toured the world, incorporating Brazilian and other influences along the way. Not to be missed.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 8,9

Kevin Mahogany @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50w/Dinner) It’s been many a year since big-voiced Mahogany has sung in the Twin Cities. Whether he’s fronting a big band, a B3 Organ Trio, reharmonizing Motown, or singing his own compositions, he always delivers. He’ll be accompanied by some of the brightest stars in the Twin Cities Jazz Firmament – Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Bobby Commodore, drums.

Friday, August 11

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) We are lucky to have conguero/trap drummer Lea in our town. He’s been playing for 50 years, and during that time has worked with Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Van Morrison, and Oscar Brown Jr, among others, and was a co-founder of Motema Records, which has established itself as a solid jazz label in this time when record companies are floundering. Tonight his quintet includes Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Trice, alto sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Ted Olsen, acoustic bass.

Jana Nyberg5 CD Release @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $37w/Dinner) The always entertaining and inspiring Ms Nyberg has a new album Set On You, recorded with hubby Adam Meckler, pianist Sean Jones, bassist Matt Peterson, and drummer Rodney Ruckus. It’s an album of mostly ballads, along with a couple of gospel numbers and the original title tune. They’ll be performing the album in it’s entirety and add a couple of other songs to complete the evening.

Saturday, August 13 

Irv Williams 98th Birthday Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Mr Smooth is still performing, and if he doesn’t quite hit some notes on his tenor sax, he finds a way to finesse the situation. He’s been having these birthday parties, each of which threatens to be the last, for at least 10 years now, and has proven to have more energy, and much better rhythm, than that ubiquitous bunny.

Monday, Tuesday, August 14, 15

Bob Rockwell Quartet w/David Hazeltine, Billy Peterson, & Kenny Horst @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50w/Dinner), 9pm ($15) Though saxophonist Rockwell had a solid reputation and resume as a NYC player, but decided to leave the Big Apple for Copenhagen since 1983. Since then, he often found time to visit the old Artists’ Quarter whenever he was in the States. Pianist Hazeltine has recorded 35 albums as a leader and hundreds more as a sideman. He’s recognized throughout the jazz community as a master of improvisation, technique, composition, and arranging. Bassist Peterson and drummer Horst are well known to those of us lucky enough to have been regulars at the AQ. Should be a stirring night of music.

Tuesday, August 15

Phil Aaron Trio w/Joyce Lyons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Emmy-winning composer/pianist Phil Aaron’s day job is composing for film, television, and advertising, but Twin Cities jazz fans know him for his tasteful, imaginative playing, whether leading his own group, as a sideman, or accompanying vocalists. Tonight, he, Gary Raynor bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, will feature special guest vocalist Joyce Lyons, whose singing philosophy is “lyric is everything.” You can expect a night of sparkling music.  Here’s Joyce Lyons performing at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Now Through August 20

The Holler Sessions @  The Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, 1pm August 20 ($9) Jazz aficionados will want to check out this one-man play about an obsessed Kansas City jazz deejay. He tells some interesting stories about jazz musicians and plays music from Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, and others. The play has a run time of 80 minutes, but you’ll want to stick around another half-hour or so for after-play activities.

Now Through August

The Young Lions Summer Vacation @ Various Venues. In case you haven’t noticed it, a number of young musicians who have been out of high school a few years and attending college are home for the summer and booking gigs. Should you see any gigs featuring Peter Goggin, Adam Astrup, Charlie Lincoln, Will Schmid, Jordan Anderson, Luke Peterson, and Will Kjeer, among others, be sure to check them out, as they and their friends are having a ball this summer showing off the skills they’re acquiring in school. One gig I’ll mention is HOAXER, who put out a fine CD earlier this summer. They’ll be appearing at Vieux Carré on Friday, August 18. The group includes Kjeer, piano; Lincoln, bass; and Goggin, sax; as well as Edmund Caitlin on drums.

Roots, Blues, & Other

Friday, August 11

Centavrus & DJ Miguel Vargas @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Centavrus is a quartet that uses electronic rhythms to reinterpret the traditional form of Mexican Corridas, which are often romantic stories sung in ballad form. As they do so, they also reinterpret the present idea of what it is to be Mexican. DJ Miguel Vargas is host of Radio Pocho on KFAI, where he crosses borders and genres as he presents Bachata, Cumbia, Funk, Merengue, Reggae, and much, much more.

Sunday, August 13

SSingSSing @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) It seems that many young musicians around the world are blending the traditional music of their countries with electronic beats and modern instruments. As described by the Cedar, SSingSSing is a sextet from Korea that combines rock music with typically authentic somewhat oscillating vocals f rom Korean folk songs. They also include ballads, pop music and shamanistic rituals into the mix. Daniel and the Real Feels, with roots in Fergus Falls, perform rock n’ roll and power pop inspired by the likes of the Stones, Bowie, Queen,and T Rex.

Monday, August 14

Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) You can’t get as down-home comfortable with any other artist the way you can with this wise, often funny, singer songwriter, who draws from gospel, R&B, and even pop to get her messages across.

Tuesday, August 15

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) One of the nicer places in town to see an outdoor show is the courtyard of the Minnesota History Center, where you can overlook downtown Saint Paul, while listening and dancing to Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, and New Orleans R&B of Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Dance lessons start at t6:30pm. Bring a blanket or chairs, and a bit of a picnic, or buy food and refreshments from vendors at the event.

Friday, August 18

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Somebody can correct me, but I don’t recall Murphy and the Hipsters ever playing at Lee’s. It’s ideal for them, with it’s paneled walls, interesting bric-a-brac, and a commodious dance floor, which should bring dancers out.

Saturday, August 19

George Porter Jr Trio, Jon Cleary Trio, & More @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door/$50VIP) It’s an evening of New Orleans Funk & R&B! George Porter Jr. is the bassist for the legendary Meters, who just celebrated their 50th anniversary with a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He’ll be bringing his own trio to the Dockside’s covered pavilion to funk things up. Jon Cleary may be a native of Britain, but he has spent decades in New Orleans soaking up its music. He recently won a Grammy, and spent a number of years as a member of Bonnie Raitt’s band, where he also collaborated with her on songwriting. Past appearances in the area have been thoroughly entertaining. They’ll be joined by area stalwarts Frogleg, who will be celebrating a new album release, Busy Checking In, as well as opening “funksion” group The Jaden Carlson band, from Boulder, Colorado.

Tuesday, August 22

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Here’s another intriguing show at the History Center. Orkestar Bez Ime plays high energy Balkan party music. It’s fast, frantic, and fun.

Sunday, August 27

David Bromberg Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 General Admission/$40 Center Section) Young Americana fans may not be cognizant of Bromberg, though they absolutely need to have his music in their libraries. Older music fans know that multi-instrumentalist Bromberg has been a solid performer of blues and other roots music since the 70s. He’s collaborated with Dylan, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, the Eagles, and countless other artists. His latest release, on our own Red House Records, is The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, was awarded Blues Album of the Year by the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. It contains Bromberg’s unique takes on songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson among others.

In the meantime you can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out:

KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/

JazzINK (as complete a live jazz calendar as you’ll find): http://www.jazzink.com

Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html


Happy New Year! 12.28 – 1.3

December 28, 2016

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

Jazz

Wednesday, December 28

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

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

Wednesday, Thursday, December 28, 29

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

Thursday, December 29

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

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

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

Friday, December 30

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

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

Saturday, December 31

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

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

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

Sunday, January 1

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

Monday, Tuesday, January 2, 3

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

Tuesday, January 3

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

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 3, 4

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 28

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

Thursday, December 29

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

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

Thursday, Friday, December 29, 30

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

Friday, December 30

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 1

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

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


The Week in Music: 9.21 – 9.27

September 21, 2016

cartoon3423Well, it appears that I wrote last weeks newsletter without mentioning the Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, the little community station that could. I didn’t realize that my show would only air once during the pledge drive and that happened last Saturday. It would please me greatly if a half-dozen or so of you who read this blog would pledge to my show on-line at www.kfai.org. Simply click on the Donate Now icon, follow instructions and when asked to Specify a Show, write in Rhythm and Grooves. Thank you.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, here’s some of the great music that’s being performed around town this week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 21

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim usually leads a trio, so it’s a treat to have him leading a quintet tonight, adding the sax of Pete Whitman and the trumpet of Adam Rossmiller to his arrangements and originals. Jay Young on bass, and Dave Schmalenberger on drums, round out the group.

 

Thursday, September 22

Kenny Horst Trio: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Since the AQ closed, owner/drummer has been free to play with a number of different bands. Tonight though, he’s leading the group, which includes his compadres Billy Peterson on bass; and Dean Magraw on guitar.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and tonight Ms Erin Livingston does the honors, with Matt Senjem on bass and Mark Zee on piano. She’s worked extensively with guitarist Robb Henry and the Parisota Hot Club, where she’s tackled standards and the Beatles.

Friday, September 23

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis, 8 – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Fridays are reserved for Jazz Masters at Jazz Central, and saxophonist Whitman certainly qualifies. He’s performed with such renowned artists as Al “TNT” Braggs, Rosemary Clooney, Jack McDuff, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, teaches at McNally Smith and leads the X-tet, a 10 piece band whose 2004 album Where’s When got a 4 star review in Downbeat. He recently returned from a tour of China.  I don’t know who he’ll have in the group, but here’s a video from a previous appearance at Jazz Central.

Jeremy Walker/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker 0 no cover), 9pm (Aces – $10) Pianist Jeremy Walker is back at this monthly gig during dinner hour, and tonight is followed by the Southside Aces, bringing brass band happiness to the New Orleans-themed basement club.

All Original Jazz Series: Larry McDonough Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist McDonough and his group have been busy as of late, performing tributes to Bill Evans and Tony Bennett, as well as Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Tonight they play originals, as the title of the series states. McDonough favors odd meters, so you will hear songs performed in 7/4, 5/4, 12/4, and even 11/4. The quartet includes: Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Quirkestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) I’m intrigued by this quintet, which plays a blend of jazz, reggae, swing, 60s R&B, and other music in a “quirky” manner.

Saturday, September 24

Patty Peterson & the Jazz Women All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) This group made their debut at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival this past June and got a rousing response. Vocalist Patty Peterson has gathered together a group of the area’s finest musicians. They happen to be women: Debbie Duncan, vocals: Linda Peterson, keys and vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass; Sheila Earley, drums; and Mary Petrich, sax. Here’s a promo she did for the show.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with a set from Merciless Ghost, with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Headliner at 8:30pm is What Would Monk Do? with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.  If you substitute Steve Kenny for Brandon Wozniak, you’ll have the group in this video.

Sunday, September 25

Jana Nyberg Group: Brunch @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis 10am – 1pm  (No Cover) You’ll need a reservation at this popular Sunday brunch spot, but in addition to the food and drink of the Kitchen, you’ll be treated to the pop/jazz stylings of the delightful vocalist Ms Nyberg.

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Renz has recorded a half dozen CDs, but doesn’t gig out too much here in the Twin Cities, as he spends much time teaching. The Berklee grad does tour every once in a while, to the East Coast, where he’s especially well received. Not only will you hear great jazz, but its in a wonderful setting, with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Sunday, Monday, September 25, 26

Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $50), 9pm ($25 – $40) Jazz fans are very excited about this pairing. These proponents of 21st Century progressive jazz first played together in the 90s, in Redman’s quartet. Since then pianist Mehldau and saxophonist Redman have both developed successful careers. With just the two of them, the music will undoubtedly take flight.

Tuesday, September 27

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No cover), 8pm (Bates – $6) Pianist Lomheim will serenade you during the dinner hour, after which drummer Bates and his B3 trio, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar; will bring the greasy funk that makes B3 trios so much fun.

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, September 21

Ian Alexy on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ian Alexy  s a versatile guitarist and songwriter who explores the byways of Americana – folk, jazz, and rock n’ roll. He and brother Teague form The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Tune in and listen (it’s pledge drive time), and head to the 331 afterwards.

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) British Soul and R&B from an engaging performer. Guitarist/singer Hunter clearly enjoys playing original soul music that invokes classic 60s soul without aping it, earning the high praise of Van Morrison in the process. The infectiousness of his joy easily communicates to audiences, who can’t help but enjoy the experience.

SK Kakraba and Palenke Soul Tribe @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free, but reservations recommended) This is part of the Cedar’s Global Roots Festival. SK Kakraba Lobi is a Master Xylophonist from Ghana. He plays the Gyil, a Ghanaian Xylophone and the primary instrument of the Lobi, Sisala, and Dagara people of Northern Ghana. The LA-based Colombian band, Palenke Soultribe  have taken electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with electronic beats and exploratory synthesizer sounds.

Thursday, September 22

Joe & Vicki Price @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This Blues Couple from Decorah, Iowa delivers the blues as if they were from Clarksdale Mississippi. Every couple of months they come up here and do a mini-tour of the area. If you don’t catch them tonight, they’ll be at the Viking on Saturday.

The Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get out those dancin’ shoes, mama, cuz the Pinecones will be delivering the hipshakin rhythms of New Orleans R&B, along with Cajun and Zydeco tunes that will add a bit of spice to the proceedings on the wooden dance floor at the Eagles Club.

Molly Maher & Her Best Men: Songs from the Heart Til Death Do Us Part @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Ms Maher, singer, guitarist, guitar-tech extradinaire Molly Maher is getting married, and rather than a bachelorette party, she’s throwing a gig, so we all can attend. She’ll be singing her excellent roots/folk rock/alt country songs backed by her band of “Best Men.” Opening is Gabriel Douglas, while the Belfast Cowboys will close out the night.

Friday, September 23

Paul Filipowicz @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Wisconsin bluesman Filipowicz first burst on the scene back in the early 80s, playing rip-roaring Chicago blues, and appearing in this area a couple of times. Raised in Illinois, the guitarslinger was taken under the wings of such stalwarts as Luther Allison and Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins. After taking a decade or so off to raise a family, he retuned in the late 90s, recording for Texas’ Gila Records. He subsequently appeared in the Top 15 of Texas Blues New Releases for two years in a row. He’s now in his sixties, and judging by his latest release, Go for the Throat, he still has fire in his belly and in his guitar.

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $75) Hear old school R&B sung by five terrific singers:  Ronn Easton, Wee Willie Walker, Maurice Young, Jerry Esckridge and Maurice Jacox, backed by an equally terrific band. Last time this show played the Parkway it sold out.

Willie Murphy @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Just because you can see Murphy a couple of times a month doesn’t mean you shouldn’t actually get out to one of his gigs, where you’ll hear this charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame perform old time rock n’ roll, R&B, and funk in his own inimitable way. The Viking was, of course, the site of his Monday night jam sessions for many years, so it’s a treat to have him back there.

Saturday, September 24

Ty Stone’s James Brown Experience @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $30) Stone is an R&B veteran, having performed with such acts as Jackie Wilson and later Johnny Taylor, Tyrone Davis, The Dells, The Staple Singers, Ernie Terrell and others. He’ll be performing hits from throughout 4 decades of Brown’s career, complete with costume changes, a 12 piece backup band and go-go dancers.

Movits! @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Imagine, if you will, a European hip hop group that goes to number one on iTunes and Amazon after appearing on the Steve Colbert show. Then, at a backyard party they hear Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman and are blown away. Now, they’ve managed to combine swing beats and hip hop beats in a way that totally works. And…. they only sing/rap in Swedish, their native language. There you have Movits! Added attraction: Danami & the Blue, a Motown inspired hip-hop soul singer.

Charlie Lawson Combo w/guest Curtis Blake @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Guitarist Lawson and his band are starting a monthly residency at this friendly and comfy Irish bar. Tonight he’s bringing in harpist Curtis Blake as a guest. Blake performs with Greazy Gravy and Don Scott when he’s not cooking up gumbo on his job.

Sunday, September 25

Oudyano @ The Black Dog, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Oudyano is Steven Hobert, piano; and Issam Rafea on Oud. Rafea, from Syria, and Hobert, from the Twin Cities, are simpatico artists who are mutually sensitive players. They play a blend of Arabic classical tradition and American jazz and roots, creating music that is ethereal, hopeful, and joyous. If you miss them and are willing to stay up a bit late, you can catch them at the Icehouse on Monday night.

Monday, September 26

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Clarke leads his troupe through the decades, playing dance music from the 30s to the 50s. You’ll jump, you’ll swing, you may even bop to songs from Count Basie and Fats Waller, to Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and Louis Jordan. It’s music that goes over especially well in the large lounge at Crooners.

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.


Festivals, Worldbeats, and Jazz, Oh My! 7.20 – 7.26

July 20, 2016

Unknown-1What a week coming up! We’ve got the Black Dog’s remodel celebration, the opening of The World of Beer across from Mears Park, the Lowertown Blues Festival (right), Palmfest, a winery jazz festival, the JuJu rhythms of King Sunny Ade, the Afrobeat of Antibalas, and The Minnesota Orchestra embracing Latin rhythms. Additionally, we have performances from a couple of young guns in the Twin Cities jazz world, as well as some daring, and much beloved jazz veterans at work.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 20

Connie Evingson and Jon Weber @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 dinner) Evingson’s vocals are both lush and cool at the same time, while Weber’s encyclopedic knowledge of piano styles gives him the ability to be adept as both an accompanist and soloist. It’s Evingson’s show, but don’t be surprised if Weber’s knowledge of arcane music facts makes its way into the between songs commentary.

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/student ID) This is the debut for Lomheim’s new group. The pianist has always had a trio, played solo, though he’s no stranger to larger bands, and is a founding member of the Illicit Sextet. Tonight he’s debuting a lineup that’s reminiscent of hard bop’s heyday: Pete Whitman, sax; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Jay Young, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums, to revisit some of his originals, and undoubtedly throw in some jazz standards.

Thursday, July 21

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The college-age musicians of Sound Skirmish open at 7pm. Members are Patrick Adkins, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ben Ehrlich, drums, and Drew Stinson bass. At 9pm it’s The Zacc Harris GroupHarris  guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Friday, July 22

Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 6pm (No Cover) Enjoy the Dinner Hour with pianist Walker and you’ll be treated to tasty, thoughtful music, including Walker’s engaging originals and his interpretation of jazz standards while you chow down on items from the club’s menu.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul.  9pm ($10) Traditional New Orleans jazz, as in a sousaphone rather than bass, clarinet, guitar, and horns. It’s jazz that makes you want to dance.

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5 w/StudentID) Ruckus has been making waves and garnering attention during various performances since enrolling in McNally Smith’s graduate program last year. He’s an alumni of Berklee, where he had a full scholarship, and has already traveled the world playing with such stellar musicians as Tia Fuller, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd, and others. Though drums are his main instrument, he’s also quite adept at bass and piano. Here he is in an unexpected setting.

Saturday, July 23

Chateau Jazz Festival @ Chateau St. Croix Winery, St. Croix Fall, WI. Noon – 6pm (free) Take a reactively short road trip to this winery, which will have food trucks, local craft beers, and of course, wine, while listening to music by: Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, the Zacc Harris Quartet, Pete Whitman’s Mississippi, and Doug Little’s Charanga Tropical.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Ted Godbout Trio at 7pm. Artists Quarter Tuesday Night Band from 9pm – Midnight. It’s the second day of the Lowertown Blues Festival, and the Tuesday Night Band, with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Franze, guitar; and Downtown Bill Brown on the Hammond B3 is a good fit for blues lovers, given the affinity of B3 organ groups for the blues. No doubt there will be some guests as well, which was the norm when the band played the old AQ. The Ted Godbout Trio opens at 7pm with Godbout, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Jared Mondlock drums. Godbout is a young player who’s been accompanying vocalists like Katia Cardenas, as well as playing in a number of other jazz groups around town.  Here’s the Tuesday Night band with guest Sue Orfield.

Nachito Herrera Plays Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Like many Cuban pianists, Herrera is dazzling with his technique. He also has the imagination and creativity to encompass traditional Cuban rhythms, the funk of folks like Earth, Wind, & Fire, and classical music. Tonight he takes on the music of George Gershwin, music as rich as anything you might find.

AcoustElectric @ The World of Beer, Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover?) Pianist Larry McDonough and his quartet helps the World of Beer celebrate their opening, at the corner of 5th and Sibley in Lowertown. The first set consists of acoustic jazz of Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, and more, while the second, electric set will feature jazz rock fusion of songs by Sting, Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and Prince.

Sunday, July 24

Sophia Shorai Quartet @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) Head downriver to Hastings for a delightful afternoon at the Bailey Vineyard. Aside from tasting their wines, you get to hear the talented vocalist Ms Shorai  who can express heartbreak , determination, and grace with a combination of sweetness and aplomb.

Monday, July 25

Omar AbdulKarim @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) AbdulKarim is an ups and coming young trumpet player who impresses with his tone and thoughtful improvisations. He’ll be accompanied by Pierre Lewis, organ; and Batume, drums, for what promises to be a swinging set of music.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 26, 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. Here’s an extended video of one of their international performances.

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 20

King Sunny Ade @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($35 Advance, $40 Door) A winner of two Grammys, Nigerian Sunny Ade brings his sinuous juju rhythms back to the Twin Cities. Since his first hit single in 1968, Ade has been nominated for two Grammys and taken his music around the world, helping to define worldbeat and Afropop in the process.

Thursday, July 21

Big George Jackson @ The Lowertown Line Stage at TPT, 172 4th Street East, Saint Paul.  6pm (Free) The organizers of the Lowertown Blues Festival (see below) made a great choice when they picked Big George for the event’s kick-off party. You get to hear George’s booming voice and his otherworldly growl, as well as the guitar of Jeremy Johnson within the new reception/event space of TPT. A must for blues fans.

Paul Mayasich, Bobby Vandell & Billy Franze @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley,. 7pm (No Cover) It’s another Hot Seat evening at Crooners, with ace guitarist Mayasich joined by R&B/jazz veterans Bobby Vandell on drums, and Billy Franze on guitar.

Thursday, Friday, July 21, 22

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($33 – $37) 1979 was “The Year of the Cat” and the year of “Time Passages,” two songs that were FM Radio staples. Stewart’s light, appealing voice was backed by a full rock band at the time, but he has since returned to his folk/troubadour roots, playing in partnership with guitarist Dave Nachmonoff and basset Mike Lindauer, revisiting hits, and reinterpreting historical gems.

Friday, July 22

Krar Collective @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance, $20 Door) The final show of the Cedar’s African Summer features a trio with a contemporary spin on the Ethiopian azmari minstrel tradition. The krar lyre is a 5 or 6 stringed harp, which legends say descends from Kin David’s lyre. Tmesegen Zeleke plays it plugged in to create a sound reminiscent of an ancient rock guitar. Beisdes Zeleke, the group include singer Genet Asefa and Drummer Grumn Begashaw. Their minimalist sound has led some to call them the “White Stripes of Ethiopia.” Opening act TBD.

Big George Jackson and the Willie Murphy Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 12 am (Tip Jar) Here we have what is essentially a two-fer event. The Black Dog is celebrating their expansion and redesign of what is now a music room and bar, and the Lowertown Blues Festival is happening. Get here early to see Big George Jackson, who opens. You’ll also get proper seats for Murphy’s  9:30 show featuring his stellar mix of rock n’ roll and R&B. If you come by after  the Blues Festival closes down for the night, you may end up standing, though regular Murphy fans already know that.

Antibalas @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 Advance/$20 door) Saint Paul is hopping tonight, what with the Blues Festival and this performance, featuring the Brooklyn Afrobeat wonders Antibalas  who were the band for Femi!, the award winning broadway and touring show. Our own Black Market Brass opens, while The Worldwide Discoteque DJs will keep things going between sets.

Minnesota Orchestra: A Night in the Tropics @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $70) Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus is joined by his own jazz quartet and the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton, in a concert inspired by the sultry melodies and evocative rhythms of Brazil, Cuba, Hawaii and more. The program features originals by Lazarus, a tribute to Brazilian composer Antonio Carlo Jobim, Duke Ellington’s Caravan and other selections. This is part of the closing weekend for Sommerfest, and will include other music and activities as well.

Friday, Saturday, July 22, 23

Palmfest 2016 @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – Close Friday, 2pm – Close Saturday ($5 each day) With 10 bands on Friday and 12 on Saturday this is a good time to catch bands you may not have heard, such as Half Moon Devil, or the King of Tramps, as well as some old favorites, like the Liquor Pigs, Spider John Koerner, Poverty Hash, and Charlie Parr. Weather permitting it will be on the outdoor patio until 10pm, after which final bands will move indoors. For more information, go to their FaceBook page or their website.

Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 9:30pm Friday, Noon – 10pm Saturday (Free) It’s a Funky Friday, with The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly; Otis Day & the Knights (from Animal House); and The Family Stone, sans Sly, but with original members Jerry Martini and Greg Errico, leading the group through the hits like Everyday People, and Dance to the Music. . Then on Saturday, it’s a celebration of the Blues, with The Brother John Band (winners of Famous Dave’s Battle of the Blues Bands), and continue with the high energy Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials; our own Butanes Soul Revue; Corey Stevens; Bernard Allison; and the festival headliner, Stax keyboard man Booker T Jones! There’s a side stage as well both days, and additional stages at The Bedlam, Golden’s Deli, and the Black Dog. Complete information at: http://lowertownbluesfestival.com

Divas Of Disco @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, 8pm ($40-$55)  Who remembers bell bottoms, platform shoes and lip gloss? Lori Dokken has put together a show that brings back the days of mirror balls, gold chains, and disco fever. Performing songs by Chaka Kahn, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, and others will be some fabulous Twin City Vocalists: Debbie Duncan, Rachel Holder Hennig, Patty Peterson, and Judy Vinar. They’ll be backed by Peter Hennig, drums; Jay Young, bass; Cory Wong, guitar, Jimmy Steffen on keys; and Dokken on keys and vocals.

Saturday, July 23

Willie Walker & We R @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners know that when you have a band that does well, you bring them back on a somewhat regular basis. Such is the case with Soulman Willie Walker  a long time resident treasure who got his start recording for the Goldwax label out of Memphis back in the 60s, and also released a couple of singles on Chess/Checker. He can caress a ballad, and give uptempo songs appropriate grit, whether they’re originals, or classics by Al Green and Sam Cooke.

Sunday, July 24

Open Streets @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. Noon – 5pm (No Cover) It’s Open Streets Day for East Lake Street, and this neighborhood bar (without TVs) is hosting a number of excellent musical acts starting at Noon with Meg Ashling, and continuing with pianist/composer DeVon Grey at 1:20, Lucy Michell at 2:30/3PM, and finishing at 4pm with the old time/folky sounds of guitarist/singer/songwriter Jake Manders.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, July 24, 25, 26

Brian McKnight 4 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $75), 9pm ($45 – $65) Adult R&B, from McKnight, singer/songwriter/pianist/producer, who has sold over 30 million records and received 16 Grammy nominations over the past 20 years.

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.


Goosebump Music: 3.2 – 3.8

March 2, 2016
Who can resist a baby enjoying music?

Who can resist a baby enjoying music?

It’s promising to be another great week of music here in the Twin Cites. In fact, a number of both resident and visiting artists are likely to give you goosebumps, and if they don’t to that, they’ll get you on the dance floor. You may have a hard time deciding who to see, and that, my friends, is a good problem to have. Music lifts your spirits, just ask the baby at right.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 2

The McNally Smith X-Tet and The Pete Whitman Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10)  Here we have two groups for the price of one, both of which are worth seeing. Saxman Pete Whitman directs the McNally Smith X-Tet, a group of students, including a couple of grad students and advanced seniors who are already playing professionally around town. The Pete Whitman Quarte includes Chris Olson, guitar; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger on drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, March 2,3

Brian Blade Fellowship @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22) Drummer/composer Blade is a multi-talented performer who has drummed for folks like  Wayne Shorter, Seal, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Bill Frisell. He and bandmate John Cowherd on piano studied and played with many New Orleans greats, including Ellis Marsalis, John Vidacovich, Germaine Bazzle, Alvin “Red” Tyler, and Tony Dagradi, among others. They, along with bassist Chris Thomson have played together for over 20 years, while fellow bandmates Myron Walden and Melvin Butler have played with the Fellowship since 2000. This is a tight band, playing as a bunch of friends, and we’re lucky to be able to enjoy a small part of their world for an evening.

Thursday, March 3

Love Is Here to Stay: Songwriting Teams of the Great American Songbook @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10)  Vocalists Paula Lammers and Reeves Cary perform songs by composers and lyricists such as Rogers & Hart, the Gershwin Brothers, Arlen and Mercer, Cahn & Van Heusen and more.

Thursday, Friday, March 3,4

Katia Cardenas and Javi Santiago @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club Happy Hour, Fridley. 4:30pm – 6:30pm. (No Cover) Their dads met in Junior High School in Los Angeles and later ended up on the road together. Pianist Javi grew up in town, left for school and NYC, and returned to become a respected performer. Vocalist Cardenas grew up on the West Coast, and came to the Twin Cities in 2006 to attend college. This is their first time playing together and it should be great fun, what with Cardenas’ ability to deliver jazz and R&B, and Santiago’s ability to play many styles.

Friday, March 4

Todd Harper & Nathan Hanson @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7:30 (Tip Jar) Pianist Todd Harper plays lots of original music,m most oa good portion of which are in 3/4 time. He notes that “listening to music in 3/4 time actually extends your life and brings a high joy factor.”  Whether or not you agree, you should still catch his Friday night gigs at the ‘Dog, especially tonight, since he’ll be joined by the outside/inside saxophonist Nathan Hanson.  to listen to an interview Harper did with KBEM’s Phil Nussbaum, go to https://beta.prx.org/stories/162000.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Drummer Gravatt is an alum of Weather Report, and stints with McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and others, including the Twin Cities own Natural Life. Gravatt and bassist Ron Evaniuk form the foundation of Source Code which recently has also featured trumpeter Solomon Parham and guitarist Dean Magraw. Tonight they also had young sax player Lucia Sarmiento. Her he is with a different configuration.

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s show is Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker, with the Larry McDonough Quintet: Larry McDonough, piano, vocals and arrangements; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Richard Terill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums. Watch McDonough playing a  piano at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Saturday, March 5

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It’s a Birthday Celebration for Davis Wilson, the genial hipster.jazz emcee, with a show that starts at 7pm and lasts until closing, generally around 11pm, featuring Dean magraw, guitar; Dave Brattain, saxes; Kenny Horst, drums; Ted Olsen, bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, and special guests.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, featuring Laura Caviani @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. 8pm  ($26) Swagger, Swing, And Swoon, as ten swinging veterans play originals and jazz standards with original arrangements. David Milne, Pete Whitman,Dave Karr-saxophones; Adam Meckler, Adam Rossmiller-trumpets; Jeff Rinear-trombone; Dave Hagedorn-vibes; Laura Caviani-piano; Chris Bates-bass; Phil Hey-drums.

Carver & Clarke @ Mendoberri Cafe and Wine Bar, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) Jeff Carver, trumpet; and Steve Clarke, sax; play the music of Baker & Mulligan as well as selections from the Great American Songbook. Mendoberri has a nice selection of wines and eats, and reservations are recommended if you would like dinner.

Sunday, March 6

Jazz Brunch with the James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 10AM. (No Cover) Bassist James Buckley, who plays roots music as well as jazz brings jazz to the Turf Club, with pianist Bryan Nichols and drummer Cory Healey as his cohorts in the subversion of the Turf’s rock n’ roll reputation. Here is Buckley & Nichols playing with Jt Bates.

Monday, March 7

Vector Families @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Dean Granros, guitar; Anthony Cox, bass; Dave King, drums; and Brandon Wozniak, sax, deliver cutting edge modern jazz for late night jazz fans.

Tuesday, March 8

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ The Dunsmore Room in Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) The last time pianist/clarinetist Thompson and guitarist Donahue played Crooners together they were in the lounge. This time they’re in the club’s acoustically sensitive listening room. Thompson will take full advantage of the sonority of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorffer piano, and Donahue’s finger picking will be more easily appreciated. Reservations recommended. Listen to a cut featuring Thompson on clarinet, from their excellent album, Vicksburg Blues.

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, March 2

Jack Klatt on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) An award-winning singer, guitarist, and troubadour, Klatt has traveled enough highways here, in Canada and in Europe, to create and collect songs and stories that inform and entertain. Listen during the 5pm hour and head over to the 331 when you hear what you like.

Thursday, March 3

Jeff Ray w/ Mikell Beckman @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckman hosts a Thursday night event every week. Tonight he’s got guitarist/singer Jeff Ray as his guest. The two work together in Jeff Ray and the Stakes, so I imagine they will be tight, to say the least. Here’s the two of them, along with Hurricane Harold Tremblay

Friday, March 4

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Roadhouse blues, delivered in a slighty tonier place. Miller packs em’ in, and since the dance floor is relatively small, there will be many folks vying for a spot as Dee and the band pump out some powerful blues. Listen to them here.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$10Door) They packed the Parkway Theater last time this Madison WI Band was in town. Here you’ll be able to show off your freestyle dance moves as the members of this band take on traditional brass band music, fortified with unique arrangements of contemporary tunes.

Purple Funk Metropolis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm – 11:30pm ($10) The Friday Late Night set at Jazz Central is always a student affair. This time it features an 9-piece funky jam band (including a vocalist) of students and recent grads that fuses hip hop and jazz into a danceable, modern sound.

Friday, Saturday, March 4,5

Aaron Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75 – $100) If you’ve an appreciation for the R&B of New Orleans, and you’ve never heard the angelic voice of Aaron Neville, it would be worthwhile to shell out the money for this intimate show. He has been successful within the context of his family group, The Neville Brothers, as well as at a solo artist. In fact, his first hit, 1967’s Tell It Like It Is, was a solo number that stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks. He’s recorded duets with Linda Ronstadt, for which he won Grammys, had four platinum selling hits, and reached the country charts in ’93. A sweeter voice you’ve never heard, whether he’s singing pop, R&B, or doo-wop.

Saturday, March 5

SEOP Dance Company @ The Ordway, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23 – $45) SEOP is a South Korean dance company that fuses Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theatre, with contemporary and traditional Korean dance techniques. Their celebrated piece, A Man’s Requiem, tells the story of a sinner’s judgement day. See for yourself.

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. ($10 advance/$12 Door) The Saint Paul Hipster Club welcomes the Angel-Headed Hipsters, led by Murphy, a guy who has eschewed the hipster label for all of his 40 plus years of performing rock n’ roll, blues, and rhythm and blues. There’s a nice sized dance floor at the Turf, which will undoubtedly be filled by folks responding to Murphy’s arrangements of covers and originals.

Sunday, March 6

Songbirds

Songbirds

Nightingale Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Three women inspired by traditional music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It’s earthy, sensual, and in the hands of these ladies, transformed.

Devil Music @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($6Advance/$8Door) A CD Release party for “Devil Music” produced by the House of Mercy folks, and featuring a host of performers, including John Hermanson, the House of Mercy Band, the Blood Washed Band, Mother Banjo, Daddy Squeeze, the Roe Family Singers, and more. Don’t worry, it’s not music that extols the Devil, but rather warns of his influence.

Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Back in the mid 70s, Beausoleil was one of the defining forces that brought Cajun music to the masses of America. Since then, their insistent, irresistible rhythms and French lyrics have inspired thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, to take up Cajun dancing, while they’ve won Grammys along the way. The gentleman at Prairie Home Companion has dubbed them the “Best Cajun Band int he World,” though you’ll have to see them yourself to decide if that’s hyperbole.

Monday, March 7

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) Last time Fischer was at the Dakota was when the Rolling Stones were in town, and Charlie Watts sat in on drums. Of course, Fischer has been singing backup and duetting with Jagger on Gimme Shelter for 26 years. She’s also sung backup for folks like Chaka Kahn, Aretha Franklin, Grover Washington, Bobby McFerrin, and Patti Labelle. This isn’t necessarily a rock or soul show, however, though a couple of songs will undoubtedly be familiar. Fisher blends a number of genres to create unique takes on all kinds of songs, and, with an incredible range, has the ability to send chills up your spine.

Tuesday, Wednesday, March 8,9

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40 – $60) Coming out of the Jersey Shore along with friend and contemporary Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny played R&B with the horns of the 11-piece Jukes backing him up. It didn’t hurt that his first three albums were produced by Steve Van Zandt (of the E Street Band), and included songs by both Springsteen and Van Zandt, as well as guest appearances by the Drifters and Ronnie Spector as well. It’s rowdy, passionate R&B, designed for dancing and sweating.

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.


Mardis Gras and More: 2.3 – 2.10

February 3, 2016

UnknownWe’re back to real winter weather, and both the Super Bowl and Mardis Gras are upon us, but neither of those occurrences need distract you from hearing excellent live music this weekend. In fact, Mardis Gras serves as an inspiration for a number of events around town. So let the Bon Ton Roulet, and rmember live music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 3

The Reverse of Sam and Dave Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) What an intriguing group name! One Wednesday each month, bassist Anthony Cox brings an interesting group to Jazz Central, and often involves the audience in discussions around the music. Tonight he’ll also be playing cello, and will be joined by bassist and saxophonist Mike Lewis, of Happy Apple, Andrew Bird, and numerous other jazz, pop, and roots groups. I have no idea what the reverse of the 60s soul duo just might be, and like you, I’ll have to attend to find out, but I”m sure it will be interesting.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) JoAnn travels across town from her usual haunt at the Saint Paul Hotel, and adds drummer Nathan Norman to the mix for an evening of jazz standards and a few surprises, from the pens of Leonard Cohen, Dan Penn, and other composers not usually associated with jazz.

Thursday, February 4

Joey Babay & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Babay is a vocalist who jumps and swings. Hobert is a pianist who can sensitively accompany all sorts of vocalists. This will be fun.

Hanson, Buckley, & Marich @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Every Thursday, the kind folks at the Kyber Pass serve up beer wine, and a few small plates to accompany some extraordinary improvisational jazz. Tonight they have three musicians who are very comfortable pushing boundaries: Nathan Hanson, sax; James Buckley, bass; and George Marich, drums.

Friday, February 5

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8pm ($10) Here’s some jazz that will stand up to any touring act that comes through town. Gravatt is the explosive drummer who has toured and recorded with Weather Report back in the day, and has regularly toured with McCoy Tyner. The members of  Source Code vary from time to time, but are always up to the challenge of Gravatt’s musical expressions. Here’s one version of the group.

Steve Hobert/Yohannes Tona Quartet @ Reverie (formerly Nicollet Cafe), Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Hobert, keys; Tona, bass; Kip Jones, violin; Arthur LA Buckner, drums.

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a chance to warm up for Mardis Gras, as this group of veteran players explore the traditional side of New Orleans music. You can expect plenty of clarinet, trombone, and trumpet playing. Don’t be surprised if a little second line parade winds it way through the club.

Saturday, February 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It seems to be trombone night at the Black Dog, as both groups feature the slide trombone as the leader’s choice of instrument.  Nick Syman Quartet @ 7pm: Syman, trombone;  Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olson, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums. Followed at 8:30pm by the Dean Sorenson Sextet: Sorenson, trombone; David Milne, saxes; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Leis Bass; Phil Hey, drums.  Though there are no videos of Sorenson’s group live, you can still listen to something from their recently released album, the Colors of Soul.

Monday. February 8

Irv Williams @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The 90-something continues to have a wonderful tone on saxophone. Early on, he played behind folks like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, and Mary Lou Williams. After serving in the Navy band, he settled in the Twin Cities and turned down offers from Count Basie and Duke Ellington. You can catch him in duo settings during Friday happy hour at the Dakota, but this is a special chance to hear him with Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Blons, guitar; and Dave Graf on trombone. It will be sublime, as you can tell from this video, taken a year ago or so.

Monday, Tuesday, February 8, 9

Joe Lovano & John Scofield Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) Here’s a duo that will bring out all sorts of music lovers. Guitarist John Scofield has played with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, Billy Hancock, and Miles Davis, and more recently has gained fans among the jam band crowd by playing with Mediski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, and Phil Lesh, of the Grateful Dead. He’s an amazing improviser with a distinctive sound. Grammy winning saxophonist Joe Lovano has played with SF Jazz, The Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Paul Motian, in addition to leading a number of groups, including Us5, the two drummer band. Check them out.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30 – $35) What better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. They revolutionized the Brass Band concept some 35 years ago when they added bebop, pop, and even the Flinstones Theme to their repertoire. They’ve recorded with David Bowie, Dr. John, Elvis Costello, The Black Crowes, and more. Tickets are going fast, so be warned, and if you get in, you can party hearty.

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, February 3

Jeff Ray & The Stakes on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jeff Ray is a talented songwriter who isn’t afraid to rework classic rock n’ roll tunes to fit his playing on resonator and acoustic guitars. He’s joined by harp master “Hurricane Harold” Tremblay, along with percussionist Mikkel Beckman on Djembe, Scruboard and foot stomps, and Nick Salisbury, of Sonny Knight & the Lakers, and Ashliegh Still, on bass. Here’s a track from their Valhalla, their recent album.

Thursday, February 4

Rockin Pinecones @ The Eagles Club, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get an early start on Mardis Gras celebrations and Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and friends serve up some Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes for your dancing pleasure.

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8) Throughout a career in the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, duets with Emmylou Harris, and solo excursions, Gram Parsons kickstarted country rock and created an extraordinary body of work. This 8-piece group was formed in 2015 to perform his music. Member come from the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, the Platte Valley Boys, The Middle Spunk Creek Boys, and more.

Friday, February 5

Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor at Crooners isn’t particularly large, it’s bigger than the one at Shaw’s, where the award-winning Butanes have a weekly gig. Additionally, music starts early, so those of us of a certain age can kick up our heels to the Buantes’ Blues and still get home in time to get sufficient rest.

Willie Murphy Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Sometimes you just want some basic blues and rock n’ roll. Pianist/guitarist Murphy delivers, and though his originals are actually far from basic, they deliver a punch that isn’t subtle, even if the harmonies are.  Here he is with a full band.

OboeBassFluteGuitar @ Lowertown Lofts, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This concert is” for fans of classical music in obscure spaces.”  A collaboration of the four performers of OboeBass! and Duo Ancora as OboeBassFluteGuitar! For this concert they will perform several pieces as a quartet, and mix and match their instrumental combinations in a variety of genres from baroque to tango to jazz. Carrie Vecchione, oboe, and Rolf Erdahl, double bass created and perform in OboeBass!, the world’s only professional oboe/bass duo. Catherine Ramirez is flute professor at St. Olaf College and internationally known soloist and teacher of flute. A native of East Berlin, guitarist and Lowertown Classics founder Eva Benekeperforms, records, and teaches around the world in addition to serving on the guitar faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Friday, Saturday, February 5, 6

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $50) Motown Soul from the singer of Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Come and Get These Memories, and Dancing in the Street. Martha & The Vandellas were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame back in 1995, and have two songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Nowadays the Vandellas are Martha’s sisters. Together, they’ll take you back to the pinnacle of 60s Motown, whether you were around then or not.

Saturday, February 6

Wine, Women & Song @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Three outstanding musicians gather for an evening of pop, country, and rock. Rocker Tina Schlieske will explore songs she recorded with the B-sides from her latest work, Barricade. That band formed out of the edgy new wave rock scene that was Minneapolis in the late ’80’s. Katy Vernon will perform her pop/rock/country songs from her newest, critically acclaimed album, Present, named Album of the Year by E’Toile Magazine, and a #6 album of the year by the Pioneer Press. Sarah Morris has released two albums, and has been praised for her intimate songwriting and Norah Jones-like approach to singing alt-country. Here’s a video from each of them.

Buddy Holly Tribute @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) This is a benefit for Doctors Without Borders, but also celebrates the “Day the Music Died,” when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash near Clear Lake Iowa. Performers include: Nikki & the Ruemates, Larry Havluck, Roady Tate, Don & Leo, Steve West and the Northern Stars.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grimm’s Sunday night gig at The Station in White Bear Lake are legendary for their fun factor. Expect the same at Crooners, with the addition of talented family and friends.

Sunday, February 7

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No Cover) You can catch Heywood, his acoustic guitar, and his pleasant baritone while having brunch and still have plenty of time to prepare for the Super Bowl later today. He’ll be debuting his 12 string for added interest. Well worth the time for aspiring guitarists who want to see a champion of finger picking at work.

Tuesday, February 9

Mardis Gras Party with Patty & The Buttons @ Dayblock Brewing, 1105 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Patty’s button accordion playing is just the thing for Cajun tunes, though this group can swing out with some jump blues and jazz as well. It’s a masquerade party, with featured cocktails,  and Dayblock’s usual selection of food, not to forget their IPAs, Stouts, and Ales.

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.


Winter Music: 1.20 – 1.26

January 21, 2016

imagesThis week’s post is a bit less detailed than usual, in part because I lost internet service on Monday, and can’t get anyone to come out until after I return from vacation next week. Plus, I was mostly in transit yesterday, so I didn’t get this published for Wednesday.  I’m sure you all have the ability to further investigate these shows before going out. Not a bad idea, since every once in a while, I get the wrong date. In fact last week, I managed to call the Black Dog the Black Hawk! Next week’s newsletter will also be smaller.

At any rate, have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 20

Pete Whitman Presents Shellgame @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a new group from Pete Whitman: Scott Agster, trombone; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Henning,drums. They’ll be playing original tunes from the band members.

Thursday, January 21

35th Annual Martin Luther King Concert Tribute featuring Pippi Ardennia @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 6pm – 7:30pm (Free) Celebrate the life of Martin Luther King with this free concert featuring a cappella group Committed, who won NBC’s Sing Off, as well as vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Sheri Hixon. Here’s an example of Pippi’s singing.

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10)The Give Get Sistet is an expandable improvisational chorus of Twin Cities women with ties and influences from around the world. The use both a cappella singing and vocal improvisation to explore music made by African American women, from the days of slavery until today.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover)  Gallagher, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Collins, vocals.

Friday, January 22

Debbie Duncan Sings Natalie Cole @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Duncan certainly has the chops to deliver the music of Natalie Cole while still retaining her own voice and personality. It’s a Friday, so things will be poppin’. Get there early for a seat/table close to the stage. Here she is doing a ballad made famous by Dinah Washington.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12)  Erik Fratzke, electric bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Dave King, drums, get together for an increasingly rare appearance. It’s a chance to hear their slightly off-kilter instrumentals, watch Lewis roam the stage, and listen to King’s stream-of-conciousness patter covering all things pop culture. And of course, their energetic music.

Saturday, January 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at  7pm: Jazz impresario Steve Kenny has been using the first set of these regular Saturday Night sessions to introduce us to new bands, and especially some of the young (we’re talking high school) bands in the area. Tonight, we’ll hear the college students of Dave Hagedorn, vibist extraordinaire. I’m assuming that the band will be delightful. Then at 8:30pm Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio takes the stage with Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums. Good Vibes is such an appropriate name, as these three gentlemen delight in playing together, it’s a joy that is quickly picked up by the audience.

John Raymond CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) New York musician and native Twin Citizen Raymond has been catching the ears of many a reviewer. He’s latest CD, Real Feels, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm Records, and he’s returning to town to celebrate. Downbeat Magazine said of Raymond, “…with his mix of modern sounds and old fashioned feeling, Raymond is steering jazz in the right direction.”

Billy Peterson Birthday Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) The eternally youthful Mr Peterson will be celebrating another birthday by playing with members of his musical clan. He’ll also have a special guest from Iceland, vocalist Anna Mijoll. Here’s Billy with Jerry Bergonzi.

Monday, January 25

Rachel Holder & Rick Carlson: In the Crook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) A singer and a piano player. The singer stands “in the crook” of the piano, for close communication with the piano player. Tonight, chanteuse Rachel Holder and pianist Rick Carlson, a sensitive accompanist and player in his own right, hold forth in the listening room at Crooners.  Here she is with a three piece, though it features a lot of duetting between Rachel and bassist Gordy Johnson.

Thomas Nordlund @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Set 1: JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; Paul Metzger, banjo, guitars. Set 2: Thomas Nordlund,  electric baritone guitar; Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums.

Tuesday, January 26

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) The Dunsmore Room has become a premium listening room for jazz, with reasonable prices on food and drink, and a great sound. Tonight, jazz sax master Dave Karr brings a quartet to the room, to fill its space with gorgeous sound. I’m not sure, but believe he will have Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 20

DLs Cajun Band w/Mary DuShane on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While listening to them at home, you may find yourself involuntarily moving to the insistent beats of DLs Cajun Band. Adding to the mix is talented fiddler Mary DuShane, a longtime participant in country & western, folk, and Cajun bands in the area.

Willie Murphy @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to get over humpday with some rockin’ blues, R&B, and an occasional beautiful ballad in a trio format. Though this isn’t a trio, it’s still a good example of Murphy’s work.

Red Barraat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) A high energy brass band from Brooklyn, playing Bhangra – Indian music – in an engaging and exciting manner.

John Beach Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. ($5?) Pianist Beach is an old school West Banker with a long resume, whose trio was thoroughly delightful last time at the club. He’ll be joined by jazzman Paul Harper on sax; and Kory Badertsher on drums. Special guest Mary Leinfelder will do some singing as well.

Friday, January 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) An early evening dose of pianist/vocalist Davina should get you high enough to make it through the weekend.

Nicholas David @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) He was a finalist on the Voice about three years ago, but by then had already earned a reputation as a soulful singer and musician, having gained national exposure from his albums.

Saturday, January 23

Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Fundraiser for 2nd Harvest. The Swamp Poppas as backup band with expanded horn section and backup singers. Featuring guest stars Tom Lieberman, Becky Thompson, Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance and possibly Ernie Batson and Curtiss A.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Things may be warming up, comparatively speaking, but you can experience tropical level heat at Seven Steps to Havana brings their Cuban/Latin grooves to the Dakota stage.

Sunday, January 24

Garland Jeffreys & Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Classic rock from a Brooklyn native who first had a hit with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punchers and neo-folkes, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and talk of a second wave to his career.

Monday, Tuesday, January 25, 26

War @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35, $45) The Dakota is funkin’ it up for two nights. War was a  dominant figure on the charts and the dance floor during the 70s, with songs like Low Rider, Gypsy Man, Cisco Kid, Why Can’t We Be Friends and more. Here’s video of the band back in the day.

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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