Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2018

Whew! We’ll finally have some respite from political ads, though for how long is anyone’s guess in this political climate. In the meantime, whether you want to celebrate a win or commiserate a loss, there are plenty music events to lift you up, only a small slice of which I’ve listed. Jazz, Soul music, Blues, Honky-Tonk, World music, and some good ol’ rock n’ roll are available for your listening and dancing pleasure. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Wednesday, November 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko),and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

Sophia Shorai & Tanner Taylor @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) After a bit of a health scare, vocalist Shorai is ready to once again charm listeners with her creamy, evocative voice. Pianist Tanner Taylor is up from Des Moines to add his tasteful accompaniment to her singing.

Lease & Moriarty @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Pianist Ellen Lease and saxophonist Pat Moriarty have been musical and marital partners for over 30 years, resulting in seamless musical communication during their improvising. Moriarty is the freer of the two, but Lease follows his twists and turns with alacrity.

Thursday, Nov 8

Vicky Mountain & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Versatile vocalist and educator Vicky Mountain has a long history with a variety of singing styles, but especially shines in scatting, melodic nuance, and original interpretations of standards and pop songs. She’ll be accompanied by: David Martin, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; David Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, Nov 9

Zacc Harris Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitarist Zacc Harris, known for his fluid and imaginative playing, performs his originals, with bandmates Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Saturday, Nov 10

Roy Hargrove Memorial Concert @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon of the MN Hard Bop Collective has put together this group of fine musicians to celebrate trumpeter Roy Hargrove, whom we lost earlier this week. With Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Joe Mayo, alto; Dave Brattain, tenor; Dale Alexander, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Simon, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) St 7pm the Hutton/Caviani Quartet opens, with Laura Caviani  piano; Joan Hutton  sax; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. Bottomless Pit begins at about 8:30pm, with Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Sunday, Nov 11

He’s Hip: Connie Evingson Sing Dave Frishberg @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Twin Cities jazz fans probably know of Saint Paul’s native son, Dave Frishberg, whose songs are hip, funny, and often incisive. “Peel Me a Grape”, “My Attorney Bernie”, “Can’t Take You Nowhere”, and “I’m Hip”, are among his songwriting gems. Vocalist Evingsonreleased a highly entertaining album of his songs back in 2008, with Frishberg himself as a guest. She’ll be joined by Jon Weber, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, saxophone (with perhaps a vocal cameo on “I Want to Be a Sideman”).

Monday, Nov 12

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: 1930s Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The 1930s were ushered in by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, ending a decade off prosperity and beginning the Great Depression. Sublime vocalist Maud Hixson, and her ever-so-tasteful accompanist pianist Rick Carlson explore the music of that decade, from Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign song “Happy Days Are Here Again” to “Stormy Weather”, as well as the music of Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and others. Here’s Hixson fronting a big band.

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s a sax attack night at this basement venue as Mayo, on alto; and Brattain, on tenor; join up for an evening of originals. It’s not clear if they will simply duet or have a rhythm section, but either way will be invigorating. As usual for Monday nights, a jam session follows 10pm.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 7

Honky Tonk Jump on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Honky Tonk Jump is the latest project from accordion master Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze, featuring: Newton on accordion and vocals; Joe Savage on steel guitar; Tom Schaefer on fiddle; Vaughn Asselstine on bass; Dehl Gallagher on drums; and Dan Lowinger on guitar. You can expect double and triple-leads on thebTexas dance hall swing of songs from Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams and an array of early honky tonk heroes. As House Party radio host Harold Tremblay says, “You know what to do!”

Sargasso @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This 7-piece ensemble plays the music of Bob Nordquist: world-oriented folk rock, often with a social message. Instrumentation includes drums, percussion, bass, guitar, organ, cello, and flute. Members sing as well.

Thursday, Nov 8

Claudettes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 bar, $20 table) The Chicago-based Claudettes bring their piano-based high-energy punk blues back to Saint Paul. Piano pounding founder Johnny Iguana played with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing o great effect on both rockers and ballads.

Friday, Nov 9

Two for the Blues @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) This evening is actually titled “Blues for Your Soul”as two powerful women take the stage with their bands. Both the Annie Mack Band and the Dee Miller Band are on an upward trajectory: Mack is preparing to travel to Switzerland for some gigs, while Miller was recently inducted into the MN Blues Society Hall of Fameand is set to represent MN at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Worldwide Discotheque 6 Year Anniversary @ Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, 2524 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A vinyl dance music party celebrating music from the tropical zones of the world. Co-founder Dan Steely returns for this anniversary event, to join deejays Brian Engel, Ben Mena, and others in spinning Afrobeats, Soukous, Highlife, Calypsos, Cumbias, and tropical disco along with other dance-inducing rhythms.

Saturday, Nov 10

The Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Founding member Paul Martin currently lives in Arizona, but returns for occasional gigs such as this one, to add his high harmony and driving guitar to the proceedings.  While Paul Martin has been living elsewhere, another Paul – Paul Garding – has been hanging and singing with the rest of The Eddies  Tonight he’ll do a short set of his own and then join The Eddies to finish out the evening.

Hot Pastrami @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. Back in he early 60s, rock n’ roll had lost some it’s rebelliousness –  Elvis was in the Army, Chuck Berry was in jail, Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly had died in accidents, and teen idols were all over the place. Yet, there were some pretty groovy tunes being made by groups that dressed in matching suits (or for women, dresses). Hot Pastrami, a quartet of veteran players from the New-Wave years, celebrates that pre-Beatles era with songs from Joey Dee & the Starlighters, The Foundations, Dusty Springfield, The Olympics, and others.

Sunday, Nov 11

Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10?) Here’s a chance to not only enjoy soul man Walker’s sandpaper voice and tightly controlled delivery, but to dance to his music on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

Monday, Nov 12

Neil Young Birthday Celebration @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Last Spring Neil Young released a movie entitled Paradox, now available on Netflix. More recently, he announced that he had married Daryl Hannah, who directed the film. To celebrate his birthday (today), Broken Arrow, a Neil Young Tribute band, will be performing his music

Tuesday, Nov 13

Anna Stine Tour Kick-off @ Honey, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) singer/songwriter Stine recently released an album of her originals, using jazz-inflected instrumentals (led by guitarist Robert Bell) in support of her soulful voice and nature-filled lyrics. Tonight, accompanied by Bell, she kicks off a tour of the Midwest. With opening act Regional Dialect: Mathias Hertel (vocals, guitar, beatbox) and Colin Doherty (lead guitar) plays “soul music with a twist of hip-hop and blues.” They have been performing and writing music together since 2010.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s been over five decades since organist Jones and the MGs created Green Onions, that grooving piece of instrumental funk. The MGs are no more, and Jones may deliver Green Onions a bit fast these days, but he still manages to deliver, whether playing the hits of the MGs and others that he’s written, or newer pieces from his recent solo projects, such as 2015’s Sound the Alarm.

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.

Fishing, Mother’s Day, and Music: 5.10 – 5.16

May 10, 2017

Plenty to do this week, even if you don’t land a big one.

This weekend is the Fishing Opener, as the Hula Poppers (not to be confused with the Hula Peppers, below) celebrated back in the 80s with their fun single, and many Minnesotans are anxious to get out on a lake and land a a big one. It’s also Mother’s Day, which means that some folks will have to choose between their first shot at fishing for the season and treating Mom to a nice Brunch or Dinner, of which there are plenty – I shouldn’t have to tell you about them. However, there is plenty of music on other days and evenings, including some outstanding visiting artists in jazz, roots, and world music, and our own bevy of talent to entertain you. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, May 10

Katz and Dogs @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Jive, jazz, and soul from Steve Katz, bass/vocals; Peter Vircks, sax; Matt Darling, trombone; Park Evans, guitar, and Ken Goldman on drums.

Zacc Harris Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This is another performance in the Jazz at Studio Z series. Guitarist Harris will be accompanied by Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums. There will be a master class at 6pm for a high school music class field trip from Winnipeg, Canada, but it is open to the public.

Thursday, May 11, Sunday, May 14

Keiko Matsui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. Thursday: 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) Sunday: 6pm ($35, $45), 8pm ($30, $40) Japanese born pianist Keiko Matsui create contemporary jazz that blends Eastern and Western influences. Over the course of 27 albums in 32 years her music has ranged from smooth jazz to East/West fusion, to jazz fusion, worldbeats, and funky grooves. Her latest, 2016’s well-received Journey to the Heart, uses a Cuban rhythm section, Peruvian guitarist, a Venezuelan percussionist and strings to weave Afro-Cuban rhythms, Latin jazz, a bit of chamber jazz, and French cafe music into a seamless whole.

Thursday, May 11

Twin Cities Hot Club w/Naomi Uyama @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) The Twin Cities Hot Club was formed in 2004 and has been dazzling audiences ever since with their takes on acoustic swing, gypsy jazz, bossa novas, and the occasional musettes. Members are: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass. Tonight, however, they’re joined by vocalist Naomi Uyama  a NYC-based singer who also specializes in teaching the Lindy Hop and leads her own band.  Here’s the group playing for some very good dancers, including Uyama.

Mill City Jazz @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) It’s a monthly evening of cocktails and jazz, with a new round of gin cocktails for audience members to enjoy while listening to this group. Wish I knew who they were.

Friday, May 12

Steve Coleman @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32) Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where played in a James Brown cover band as a teenager, and later discovered Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane while in college. He was introduced to Von Freeman, Bunky Green, and Sonny Stitt, all of whom he credits with influencing his approach to music. Once he moved to NYC in the late 70s he began playing in big bands, and co-founded M-Base, a self-help organization for Black musicians. His spontaneous, fluid playing has been heard with Dave Holland’s group, as well as in his own Five Elements. Tonight he heads up a chamber-jazz hybrid of a group, to explore spontaneous composition and group improvisation. Members are: Matt Mitchell, piano; Greg Chudzik bass; Roman Filiu, tenor; Rane Moore; clarinet; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Kristin Lee; Violin and Jen Shu, voice. Here he is in a completely different setting.

Jeremy Walker/Cedric Fuller & Global Sound @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker, no cover), 9pm (Fuller, $10) Pianist Walker starts off the evening during the dinner hour, and then at 9pm Cedric Fuller and his band takes over: Cedric Fuller, drums; Ernest Bisong, violin; Steven Hobert, piano; Tomas Simpson, guitar; and Kenneth P. Garnier, bass. Here’s Fuller with a number of those players.

Saturday, May 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with young Jazz Ensembles from Walker West Music Academy at 7 pm. Open Story is on at 8:30. It a new group with well-known, and highly talented members: Dean Magraw, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Jay Epstein, drums

Sunday, May 14

Despejada @ Zorongo Flameco Dance Studio, 3012 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Pianist/accordionist Steven Hobert  who is always involved in interesting projects, has a new trio, featuring Krissy Bergmark on tabla; and Ben Abrahamson on flamenco guitar. As Steven describes the group, “We draw and blend inspiration from the traditions of Flamenco, Hindustani and Jazz.”

Monday, May 15

Dave Graf @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Trombonist Graf seems to spend quite a bit of time in various pit bands for musical shows at the Ordway and other venues about town. Make no mistake, however, he’s an accomplished jazz musician, always being called on to fill out a group and provide the burnished tone of his axe. Tonight he gets to play originals and original arrangements. As always, a jam session follows at 10pm. Here’s an example of Graf’s talent.

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Vocalist Karrin Allyson has long been a favorite of Twin Citizens, ever since she lived here for a few years in the 90s. After thirteen albums, and four Grammy nominations during her time with Concord Records, she has moved on to Motema, another important jazz imprint, where she received a 2016 Grammy nomination for Many A New Day, an album of Rogers and Hammerstein songs. For this visit, her show is entitled Allyson Sings Allison, as in Mose Allison. She has often included one of Mose’s tunes in her albums and shows, and is putting together a whole album of his songs. Luckily, we get a preview. Here she is doing one of Allison’s classics.

Monday, Tuesday, May 15, 16

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner), 8:30pm ($12) Drummer Dave King unites once again with pianist Bill Carrothers, and bassist Billy Peterson for an evening of exquisite music. King of course, is well known for his work with The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, and countless other bands. Carrothers is an outside-the-box improviser, which isn’t to say he plays “free jazz” but that his playing always takes unexpected, and often delightful turns. Peterson is simply a monster bass player who has played or recorded with BB King, Leo Kottke, and Les Paul, among others. His 20+ years on the road with rocker Steve Miller didn’t affect his ability to play inside, outside, and in the pocket – just hear his work with Ben Sidran, Bob Rockwell, or this trio.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 16, 17

Marcus Roberts Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($25, $35) Pianist Roberts, who has been blind since he was about 5 years old, is a virtuosic player who played with Wynton Marsalis as well as with large symphonies. He founded his trio in 1995, based on the philosophy that bass, drums, and piano are all featured equally. Roberts recorded output includes solos, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards, original suites, and original arrangements for large ensembles, and symphonies.

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, May 10

Siama’s Afrobilly Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Siama Matsuzugidi is an African guitarist who  has lived in Uganda, Kenya, Dubai and Japan and has performed with some of the biggest names in soukous, playing on hundreds of recordings. In 2014 he received a McKnight Fellowship, which allowed him to launch a solo career here in Minnesota. His Afrobilly Trio combines the singular sound of his cascading guitar lines with the rootsy percussion of Mikkel Beckmen (an in-demand accompanist to Charlie Parr, Corpse Reviver, and other performers), in addition to incorporating the vocals and percussion of Dallas Johnson. As usual, tune in and head over to the 331 if you want to hear more.

Hula Peppers @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The music of the 1930s was often hopeful and light-hearted – a response to the Great Depression, when people had little money, and even less hope. The Hula Peppers specialize in the music of the 30s, and also throw in some music from the booming 20s, and an Hawaiian tune or two. It’s blues, swing and novelty songs from the golden age of 78s, delivered with sly winks and a generous helping of loving humor. The Peppers are Papa Gasket (Dan Newton) on accordion; with Tiny Gene Pool on Hawaiian guitar; Mysterious Mo, ukulele and saw; Professor Wheat, guitar; Lotta Miles, ukulele; and Rock Bottom, bass.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 10, 11

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved table) If you’ve not heard this rowdy, sassy singer of guitar-less blues, here’s a great opportunity, and Davina and the band will undoubtedly fill the place. The Vagabonds are a brassy group that’s equal to Davina’s strength as a singer and composer.

Friday, May 12

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) The Blues Saloon becomes Honky-Tonk Heaven, as these purveyors of traditional country music will fill the dance floor with rockabilly, honky-tonk, and old time rock n’ roll, all perfect for swing dancing, or free-form dancing, whatever you choose. Trailer Trash has been at it for over 22 years now, so they’ll easily fill the commodious dance floor at the Blues Saloon.

Amy Helm & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($33 – $38) Singer/songwriter Helm is the daughter of Levon Helm, of The Band, and Libby Titus, writer of Love Has No Pride. When she appeared with her Dad at the Fitzgerald Theater some years back, she was already a formidable vocalist. She’ll have another formidable artist in her group – Cindy Cashdollar  the Austin-based dobro and steel-guitarist who as worked with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Marcia Ball, Leon Redbone, and others. In 2011 Cashdollar became the first female inducted into the Texas Stel Guitar Hall of Fame, and was then inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2012. the husband/wife team of Fife and Drom open with their originals, as well as Delta and Chicago blues.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Steve Clarke and his roaring saxophone leads an 8-piece group through a heady mix of jump, jive, and swing, from Fats Waller and Count Basie to Louis Jordan, Bill Haley, and Elvis Presley. You’ll end up either snapping your fingers or cutting the rug on the Eagles wonderful dance floor.

Worldwide Discotheque Fifth Anniversary @ The Nomad Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s already five years since this Pan-Tropical Vinyl Dance Party was started by Deejays Brian Engel and Steely Dan. It’s been mentioned in the New York Times not only for its infectious music that ranges from Afrobeat and Soukous to Calypso, Reggae, and Cumbia, but for its pan-generational and pan-gendered fans. Deejay Steely Dan, who moved back to his home state of Michigan last year, will be returning to the Twin Cities for this special evening. For examples of the kind of music you may hear, visit this site.  You can also check out this video, made back before the event outgrew Clubhouse Jaeger.

Saturday, May 13

Cariba Days Film & Music Fest @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm – Midnight ($15) The day starts with a free film La Vie Est Belle, featuring guitarist Papa Wembe, and continues (with paid admittance) with Pimento & Hot Pepper, a Jamaican film about Mento music at 4pm, an 11 minute short at 5:30 on life in Pinnacle Jamaica, and then at 6:15, a screening of Hip Hop Colony, a film from Kenya. The last two films will have a Q&A with the director of each after the screening. Music starts at 8:30 with the Soukous Fusion of Siama’s Afrobilly Trio, followed at 9:30 by the Afrobeat of Black Market Brass  and closing the night, the vintage Cuban sounds of Malamanya. Steady Rock Sound DJs will provide music between sets.

Saturday Salon: Dancing Keys @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) This afternoon’s “chamber concert in a cabaret setting” features one piano and four hands. Michael and Kyung Kim will be playing pieces from JS Bach; Mozart; Grieg; Brahms; and Ravel. Drinks and small plates are available until 4:30 pm, when the dinner menu takes over. Here is half of the duo.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Nikki & Rich, no cover), 9pm (All-Stars, $8) The Vieux’s practice of featuring a dinner hour performer and an evening performer can sometimes result in odd couplings of genres, but often results in worthy double-bills, such as this one that features the folk/rock and country blues of Nikki Roux & Rich Rue to start the evening, and Harp-master Hurricane Harold’s collection of some of the best blues players in town. The All-Star Blues Revue will have the place jumpin’ though they’ll also throw in a slow blues or two to let folks catch their breath.

Festival au Desert: Caravan of Peace @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $30 Door) The Ali Farka Toure Band and Terakaft bring the Desert Blues to the Twin Cities as part of The Festival au Desert, which has been banned from it’s homeland in Mali. Though Ali Farka Toure passed ten years ago, The Ali Farka Turi Band consists of musicians who traveled the world with him, including singer Afel Bocoum and master guitarist Mahmadou Kelly. Terakaft is a Tuareg band from Mali that combines Western high-tech with earthy African roots.

Sunday, May 14

Salsa Cafe @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Well, there’s not too much information about whether this includes a live band or a deejay. Suffice it to say, if you want to get your week started with some lively dancing, this is the place to be.

Left Lane Cruiser @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) Though the Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival isn’t until July, the Hook & Ladder is already ramping things up with Left Lane Cruiser  area favorites since their appearance at the original Deep Blues Festival some years back. This high-energy, jet-fueled duo takes the Mississippi Hill Country Blues and growls and snarls it up with punk rock energy. Also on the bill: Liquor Beats Winter, a Mpls quartet that describes itself as the love child of The Dead Kennedys and Captain Beefheart, and the relatively new trio, Snarles Bukkakeski, with DJ Rock the Monkey providing between music between sets.

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.

Rhythm – Groovy & Global: 5.11 – 5.17

May 11, 2016
Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Despite the clouds during this May week, we’ve got plenty of music to lift our spirits. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the variety of jazz, blues, and roots music here in the Twin Cities. Tonight we have an outstanding visiting jazz pianist, while the rest of the week brings us intriguing music from resident jazz artists. This weekend seems to be a big one for ska lovers with both The English Beat in town, and a festival of ska music, film, and even Jamaican food at the Parkway Theater. We’ve got some visiting artists from New Orleans and Great Britain as well, and two dance parties celebrating music from other nations. Need I say more? Get out and enjoy the richness of Twin Cities music.


Wednesday, May 11

Bill Charlap Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27 – $35), 9pm ($20 – $25) Wow! When it comes to piano trios, it’s hard to top pianist Charlap and his band mates, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, and no, they aren’t related. Charlap’s latest album, The Songs of Jerome Kern, has him playing while Tony Bennett sings, and the results have been lauded throughout the jazz community.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates started this monthly concept with the idea of creating several new bands over the course of the year. However, the chemistry with Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums was so good, that they’ve jelled as a group and are committed to playing together as much as they can, performing originals from each member.

Thursday, May 12

Authentic Violet: Melody & Jon Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 Student ID) That’s Melody as in vocalist Melody Mendis and Jon as in pianist Jon De Vaal. The two have lots of fun performing together

Zacc Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) The Vieux continues to do a good job of booking resident talent from our jazz and roots scene. Tonight, it’s jazz, with a quartet of Twin Cities modern jazzers: Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and and JT Bates, drums.

Friday, May 13

Nathan Hanson/Doan Brian Roessler @ the Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm  ($15) Hanson and Roessler have been playing together for over twenty years, developing a rapport that helps to move music along with no seeming effort, even when completely improvising. Tonight, they’ll be previewing their soon-to-be-released album that takes a more orchestral approach to their music. Joining saxophonist Hanson and bassist Roessler are: Laura Harada, violin; Cole Pulice, tenor and baritone; and Christopher McGuire, drums. Here are Hanson & Roessler.

Todd Harper & Possibilities @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Pianist Harper runs up the street to the SW Craft Bar (formerly Señor Wongs) after his Friday happy hour gig at the Black Dog to lead a quintet with Eric Coursen, drums; Bill Grenke, bass; Chris Hagedorn, tenor; and a special guest. Here he is with some of his other friends.

Saturday, May 14

Duke n’ Donuts @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm ($20 Suggested Donation) A fundraiser for Hopewell Music Cooperative  f North Minneapolis, the only music school in North Minneapolis. The event will include performance and presentations on Duke Ellington and the importance of music education, including performances from theHopewell Student Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Trio. Also, there will be donuts.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny Quartet, featuring the veteran horn man and a trio of young lions, opens at 7pm with: Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. At 8:30 it’s the Dave King/George Cartwright Duo, with King on drums and percussion and Cartwright on sax. Here’s a long video of them at Radio K.

Sunday, May 15

Maurice Jacox Sings Nat King Cole @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner) The R&B/jazz vocalist has sporadically performed his Nat King Cole show for a number of years. He’ll be accompanied by Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Ron Seaman on piano. Here’s a chance to see and hear this show in a listening venue other than a theater. Here’s a promo piece for the more involved tribute that Jacox has done in the past.

Monday, May 16

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tonight trumpeter Bill Simenson will lead a quintet featuring: Nathan Hanson, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Martin, guitar; and JT Bates on drums. Simenson leads his own 17-piece big band, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this quintet.

Tuesday, May 17

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Ms Knutson returns to the quiet of the Dunsmore Room to enchant us with her piano playing. She’ll be joined by Gordon Johnson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. Here’s a recording of the title tune from her last album.

Michael O’Brien’s Triage @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) NYC based bassist Michael O’Brien left the Twin Cities for the Big Apples some years ago, and has since toured the world with various groups and gigged around Manhattan and Brooklyn. He is back in town for a few performances, including tonight’s which features Chris Lomheim on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Here’s O’Brien with the Kyoko Oyobe Quartet at the Kitano in NYC>

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, May 11

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM0, 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a pleasure to have Don “Scotty” Scott  ack in the state, as he spends his winters in warmer climes. The guitarist has found a great collaborator in harmonic wiz Curtis Blake  and together they deliver fine set of acoustic blues, with Rosanne Licciardi on percussion and a few surprising covers thrown in to keep your interest high. As usual, tune in to Harold’s House Party to hear them play, then head over to the 331 Club.

Sonny & Ray & the Rotations @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A collaboration between a couple of resident soul heavyweights: Sonny Knight and Ray Barnard. In the last few years, Sonny and his band the Lakers have headlined festivals both here and in Europe. “Course before then he was Little Sonny Knight back in 1965, and then sang with the legendary Haze. Ray led the roots/rock Copperheads for 12 years before striking out on his own, and recording two well-recieved albums. The duo will be performing soul & roots tunes, with a bit of influence from country, most of which were written by Graham Bramblett, who will joining them on a few. Here’s Sonny in an acoustic environment.

Thursday, May 12

Samba Meu @ the Reverie Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Samba Meu  brings roots music and social dance from various regions of Brazil to the cafe and bart at Nicollet & Franklin. If you only think of bossa novas when thinking of Brazilian music, here’s a chance to hear many regional styles, including sambas, chorus, batucadas, maracatu, and more. Here’s an example of a batucada.

Friday, May 13

Tom Hunter Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) You can often catch Hunter performing at Willie Murphy’s Monday night jams, but his resume is far bigger than that: playing with Big John Dickerson, touring with Mary Cutrufello as the opening act for the Allman Brothers 30th Anniversary tour, playing and recording with Bernard Allison, and putting out three of his own albums. Catch him performing with his own group in the big room at this Fridley lounge.

Radio Joe & The Jazzbos @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Radio Joe Demko brings his romantic swing to the Western suburbs. This 40 seat cafe, with a varied wine and beer list, is the perfect intimate setting for hearing Joe do his Nat King Cole tribute during the first set. The second set will undoubtedly feature some of Joe’s fine originals as well as swing inspired by the Benny Goodman Quintet.

Worldwide Discoteque 4th Anniversary @ Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The tropical dance party celebrates four years of bringing together the music of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a trans-generational, trans-ethnic celebration that has even been cited in the NY Times. Since that mention a couple of years ago they’ve moved to the larger confines of the Nomad, so let the dancing begin!

Friday, Saturday, May 13, 14

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 – $45) The English Beat were one of the most popular and influential bands of the Two-Tone Ska Movement in England in the late 70s and early 80s. They released three acclaimed albums and toured with folks like David Bowie, the Clash, and the Talking Heads, among others. After calling it quits as a band, members went on to form General Public, Fine Young Cannibals, and others. They reunited in 2003 and have been enjoying a renaissance since then by continuing to play their energizing mix of ska, soul, reggae, and rock.

Cariba Fest @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 5pm – 1am Friday, 11am – 1am Saturday ($10/event or $20 all day). Six different films about Jamaica, six different bands playing ska, reggae, and steel pan, and a dozen roots deejays will be appearing, with Ska Legends Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd performing with our own Prizefighters   Jerksican food will be available all weekend in Pepito’s, attached to the theater. As an added attraction there will be Brunch with Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd on Sunday, from 1am – 2pm.

Saturday, May 14

Yolande Bruce’s Birthday Concert @ Crooners, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Bruce is an original member of Moore by Four, and has appeared in productions at the Guthrie, Penumbra Theater, and other stages around town. Tonight the R&B/jazz singer celebrates her birthday with a few friends, including: Gary Gratz. piano; Jay Young, bass; Steve Faison, drums; and others that will undoubtedly be known to her fans.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikki & Rich – No Cover) 9pm ( Hurricane – $8) Here’s another two-fer of roots from the Vieux. Nikki & Rich form the heart of Nikki & the Rue-mates, and together, play the blues and folk-rock. Hurricane Harold Trembley is host of the House Party on KFAI, where he brings in roots artists to play every week. As a result, he has a large rolodex of musicians to choose for various incarnations of the All-Stars. Whoever he has, they will likely be A-list roots musicians, and include a couple of vocalists.

New Orleans Suspects @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Some of the finest R&B musicians to come out of New Orleans, the Suspects are: Mean Willie Green, who has drummed for the Neville Brothers since the 80s; Reggie Scanlan, who played bass with James Booker, Professor Longhair, and for 33 years, the Radiators; guitarist Jake Eckert cut his teeth with Derek Trucks before joining the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver, on piano, is classically trained, and played with many of the city’s well known musicians as well as leading his own band, Funkifry’d; while tenor saxist Kevin Harris is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen who has also played with folks ranging from Elvis Costello, to Norah Jones. Our own Butanes open at 9:30 and the Suspects perform from 10:30 – 1am. As an added bonus, for an additional $15 you can attend a Crawfish Boil on the Joint patio next door.

All Asian Nation Dance Party @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($7, $10 after 11pm) Here’s a chance to experience and dance to an evening of Asian Hits, from K-Pop (Korea) to Bollywood (India), as well as several Asian musical genres you may not have heard. If the music moves you, get on the dance floor. Though there will be appearances by Drag Queen Sunny Kiriyama and Drag King Sum Yung Wang, along with multi-musician/artist/producer Miggy Smalls Slice, there is no dress code. For an example of K-pop, here’s a video that’s gotten over 100 million views on YouTube.

Sunday, Monday, May 15, 16

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Hunter is a fine proponent of updated soul and R&B. In fact, Mojo Music Magazine of England, declared him “UKs’ best soul singer.” In person he’s a delightful performer, backed by a great band. His latest album, “Hold On” has been released on Brooklyn’s hipster/funk label Daptone, which only adds to his pedigree. Highly recommended if you have any interest in soul music, whether its contemporary or classic.


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.

Close to Spring: 3.9 – 3.15

March 9, 2016
A hint as to where I am

A hint as to where I am

This is the first of three weekly blog entries that will be somewhat less informative than usual, as I will be out of town for a couple of weeks, with sporadic access to the interweb. You may want to check with venues to ensure that a) I have the right information; and b) the bookings haven’t change. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, March 9

Dean Harrington @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 9:30 (No Cover) Superb guitar playing. Will probably have a trio.

Parisota Hot Club @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A little acoustic jazz and swing, with some pop/Beatles thrown in for good measure.

Tuba Skinny @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30 door, 8:00 show ($16) Old-time Brass Band from New Orleans playing Depression-era blues, ragtime, and traditional jazz..

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm Bates, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; Matt Buckner, drums. A monthly meeting of this trio, preparing for a recording with new music.

Thursday, March 10

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) One of the masters of vocal singing in town, whether drawing from the 50s, 60s, or the Great American songbook.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Five-piece, including the young vibist Levi Swartzberg, led by bassist Adam Linz

Friday, March 11

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar)  Featured artist: The Steve Hobert Dean Magraw Duo, with Hobert on keys, and Magraw on guitar. At 7:00, the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase will feature the  MacPhail  Student Jazz Ensemble, directed by Greg Keel

U of M Morris Jazz Ensemble with the Chris Bates Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) I’m guessing the 18 piece band from Morris will do a set, and the Chris Bates, Bryan Nichols, and JT Bates take the stage.

Saturday, March 12

Tierney Sutton Master Class @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10:30AM – 1:30PM ($50 Adults, $25 Students) Sutton has a gorgeous way with vocals. She’ll be appearing with the JazzMN orchestra on Sunday.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening is the Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio, with Byron Johnson-Blanchard on drums; Park Evans, guitar; and Josh Granowski on bass; at 8:30pm it’s Bottomless Pit, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; and Tom Lewis, bass.

Sunday, March 13

Tierney Sutton with the JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, Hopkins. 3pm ($18 – $33) Tierney has been nominated for a Grammy seven times as both a vocalist and arranger.

FuzzyMath @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) The quartet has a new CD, Pass the Guacamole. It’s another winner.

Dan Chouinard and Ann Reed @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($25 Minimum) Dan does his Birthday Club, performing songs by composers whose birthdays are this month, with folkie Ann Reed in the listening room at Crooners. Reservations always recommended.

Sunday, Monday, March 13, 14

Dee Dee Bridgewater & Irvin Mayfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. Vocalist Bridgewater’s latest album is an homage to New Orleans, recorded with trumpeter Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Monday, March 14

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) This dynamic young drummer was well received when he played with the Steve Kenny Solomon Parham Quintet at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Tuesday, March 15

Laura Caviani @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Caviani is a pianist whose compositions and arrangements are graceful and swinging.

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 9

Maurice Jacox & Bobby E on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Soulful vocals with very tasty supporting guitar from Bobby E.

New Sound Underground Tour Kick-off @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) Funk Jazz outfit gets ready to tour, with supporting artists Mike Daum, Nimo The Hooligan, and DJ Elsewhere. Plus, you can play the “jamstick at the interactive guitar booth.

Thursday, March 10

Argent Blue @ the JJ Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Funk, Rock, Jazz, and Hmong classics from this 5-piece band.

Friday, March 11

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7, includes a free beverage) Nemeth can sing soul, blues, and soul-bloues with verve and élan.

Del McCoury Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $55), 9pm ($25 – $45) Grammy winning bluegrass legend.

Worldwide Discoteque Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Afro-Latin-Caribbean all-vinyl dance party

Soul Tight Committee @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($?) This largish horn band is celebrating St Patrick’s Day a bit early, by playing R&%B, funk, and other highly danceable tunes.

Saturday, March 12

Ky Ngo Band, Charanga Tropical, Ryan Daniel Band @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Drummer Ky Ngo is 9 years old, yet he’s already played the 7th Street Entry at 8, the Mall of America Rotunda at 4, and has backed South American, Latin, and Cuban musicians. He’ll be featured tonight with his own band, as well as with Charanga Tropical, the reggae/hip hop Ryan Daniel Band, Kevin Washington, and others.

R&B Cadets @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm Boy, I’m sorry I’m missing these guys. John Sieger, Paul Cebar, Robyn Pleur and friend used to fill dance floors throughout the Twin Cities. Nice to have them back after what, 20 years?

Willie Walker @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Twin Cities own soul legend, singing his heart out.

Sunday, March 13

Mary Dushane @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Sunday afternoon with this fine fiddler, who has been a vital part of the West Bank music scene since way before there was a West Bank Music Scene.

Katy Vernon @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 7pm ($10) The sweet folk pop of Ms Vernon will fill the Icehouse. Opening is Tim Houlihan

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) National finger picking champ, taking a busman’s vacation of sorts.

Monday, March 14

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Jump blues, Swing, and more from the saxman and his cohorts.

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.

Musical Abundance: 11.6 – 11.12

November 6, 2013
Much to choose from

Much to choose from

You would think this is harvest week, what with the abundance of music from visiting and resident artists, including a couple of shows that pay homage to music pioneers (Ellington, Tito Puente, Basie’s vocalists), as well as a couple of pioneers themselves (Blind Boys of Alabama, Allen Toussaint). Various combinations of musicians are combining to bring us new arrangements and new music. All in all, we’re very lucky here in the Twin Cities. Just remember to get out, especially to the Artists’ Quarter, which we may lose around the first of the year.


Wednesday, November 6

Marcus Roberts Trio w/Rodney Jordan & Jason Marsalis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Roberts is a pianist whose style owes much to stride, with a bit of Monk thrown in, yet he’s got his own way with a tune. His trio with Jordan and Marsalis are known for reinvigorating the piano trio format with their effortless communication. Here’s an example:

Brandon Wozniak & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Wozniak wields his sax like a painter: soft strokes here; gauzy backgrounds there; and giant splashes of bold color when it suits the composition. He plays in the Atlantis Quartet and the Dave King Trucking Company, among other configurations, so it’s no telling who will show up as his friends for the evening.

Thursday, November 7

UnknownPatricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30) Barber is an adventurous pianist with a smoky, yet cool voice with an understated elegance. She composes songs that are poems in the best sense of the word, and is the first songwriter to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. Except for a long-running weekly residency at the Green Mill in Chicago, she seems to play out only just enough to keep folks interested. We’re lucky to have her here, perhaps because she’s got a history with the Dakota that dates back to the nineties.

Foreman, Feily, Schmidt, and Musselman @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9:30pm (tip jar) No, it’s not a law firm but rather four friends who improvise to a variety of genres. Andrew Foreman, bass; Dave Feily, guitar; Zach David, drums; and Dan Musselman, piano.

Dave Karr @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Old school bebop, along with lovely ballads from this 80-something master of both the tenor and the baritone sax.

Thursday, November 7 – Sunday, November 10
Zeitgeist’s New Music Cabaret @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6:30pm Thurs, Fri, 7:30pm Sat, 7pm Sun ($10/evening) Four nights of music including a jazz headliner each evening, along with selections from Zeitgeist and others. Thursday, it’s Red Planet, Friday, Zacc Harris, Saturday, it’s Davu Seru’s Mother of Masks, and Sunday it’s the Nathan Hanson Saxophone Choir. Always an invigorating, and wonderfully surprising series.

Friday, November 8

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  ($12) This is part of a two-night stand for composer/pianist Nichols, with tonight dedicated to quartet performances and Saturday to a Quintet. Nichols’s abilities as a jazz composer have been recognized with a residency at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at Kennedy Center, a grant from the American Composers forum and a McKnight Fellowship. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; & Coy Heally on drums. Here’s the quartet with Mike Lewis on sax. He’ll be joining the group tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 9

JazzMN Orchestra Tribute to Tito Puente @ Hopkins High School, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($30, $34, w/$10student rush) The 18-piece orchestra featuring the Twin Cities’ best brings in a couple of extra percussionists as they pay homage to the timbales master who was so adept at integrating big band jazz and latin rhythms. Special guest Lucia Newell will be on hand to sing a couple of numbers as well. Percussionist Ray Rivera was my guest this past Saturday on Rhythm and Grooves. You can listen to the interview and a couple of Tito’s numbers here.

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Nichols uses a quintet for the second night of his gig at the AQ, with Michael Lewis joining Brandon Wozniak on saxophones; JT Bates sitting in the drum chair, and James Buckley holding down the bass.

Saturday, Sunday, November 9, 10

Knights in Harlem @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) A celebration of the unsung baritones that fronted the Basie band, with the Wolverines Trio (celebrating 40 years) backing Dennis Spears and Stephen Faison. Spears and Faison will be bringing us the songs of Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Arthur Prysock.

Sunday, November 10

A young Duke

A young Duke

Connie Evingson: Ellingtonia @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm & 7:30pm ($25) Connie continues to find interesting themes for her Jazz at the Jungle series. This time the cool singer is tackling the music of Duke Ellington, which should provide excellent material, whether well-known, or obscure. Check with the Jungle on seat availability, as some of these performances sell out. Joining Connie will be: Dave Karr (tenor sax), Doug Haining (alto sax), Preston Haining (trumpet), Tanner Taylor (piano), Gordy Johnson (bass) and Trevor Haining (drums).

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 12, 13

Roy Hargrove @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Trumpeter Hargrove is a two-time Grammy Winner who is constantly searching, whether playing with Cuban musicians, or strings, recording with jazz icons like Herbie Hancock, or delving into the worlds of hip-hop and neo-soul. In the course of an evening, you can expect him to explore rhythms, original and standard melodies, and moods, all to thrilling effect. Here he is from a few years ago.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 6

Unknown-1Moonlight Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I’ll be hosting this edition of the House Party, with Moonlight duo – Mary Dushane and Nicholas Jordan as my guests. Mary Dushane is a master fiddler, adept at Cajun, Appalachian, Western Swing, and Irish reels, among other genres. Guitarist Nicholas Jordan supplies the knowing vocals. Tune in and then head over to the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis to hear them in person.

Sonny Knight & The Lakers @ The Eagles Club#34, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) To celebrate the release of Sugar Man a Secret Stash 45, soul man/funkster Sonny Knight is taking up a month-long residency every Wednesday at the Eagles. Sugar Man is a slowish cover of the Rodriguez song, propelled along by congas and other percussion, wonderfully accentuated by mournful horns. The flip, Hey Girl, is a funk rave-up with all the touchstones you’d expect: Knight’s gritty voice and the Lakers supplying insistent guitar, sax, and trombone solos to create a rhythm that should have dancers shakin’ their bacon

Thursday, November 7

John Beach, Mary Leinfelder, & Friends @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar)  Well darn, if I weren’t spinning, I’d be sure to check out John and Mary, a piano player and singer who go together like Jameson & Ginger Ale. Whether you drink cocktails, Guiness, or Grain Belt, you’ll enjoy their music.

Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapoils. 7:30pm ($30/$35) The Blind Boys continue to expand their audience by recording with a variety of musicians. Their latest CD, I’ll Find A Way, features collaborations with some of today’s brightest pop/rock stars. But it’s the Blind Boys emotional and musical power, grounded in gospel, that sets them apart. Here they are, along with Mavis Staples.

Miller, Neale, Schnitzer, Weigand and Sansby @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (tip jar) Here we have a more-or-less all star band of Twin Cities Musicians. Scottie Miller, piano (Scottie Miller Band, Ruthie Foster); Dan Neale, guitar (Bo Diddley, Martin Zellar, Prairie Home Companion); Bobby Schnitzer, guitar (Lipps, Inc., Taj Mahal, Al Jarreau); Larry Wiegand, bass (Crow, Pacific Gas & Electric, Bobby Vee); and percussionist/drummer Scott Sansby (Willie Murphy, Scottie Miller) gather together to make some big fun music.

Friday, November 8

Luke Warm & the Cool Hands, Jillian Rae Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5)  Luke Warm is a jug band, but apparently is looking for a juggist, which is either someone who can play a jug, or someone who does bad juggling. At any rate their repertoire ranges from bluegrass and folk to the occasional polka. Jillian Rae, on the other hand, is a complete musician unto herself, though she uses a band. She can sing, fiddle, and write with well-deserved self-assuredness.

John Mark Nelson, Simonet & Young, and The Ericksons @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s an acoustic-y night at the Cedar as up and coming singer-songwriter Nelson (of Minnetonka) is joined by Simonett and Young of Trampled by Turtles, and the talented sister duo, The Ericksons.

Worldwide Discoteque @ Club Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Multi-cultural music encompassing Afrobeat, Sambas, Highlife, Latin, Cumbia, Reggae, Funk, Tropical Boogie, and who knows what else. What is certain is that you won’t be able to stand still as DeeJays Steely Dan, Brian Engel, and friends spin vinyl. Here’s an example of some of the music, along with some images of the dancers.

Saturday, November 9

Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $40), 9pm ($40-$35) The gentlemanly architect of New Orleans R&B returns to the Dakota, touring behind his latest CD, Songbook, recorded live in 2009 during his residency at Joe’s Pub in New York, and featuring many of his songs – tunes he does in concert.

Eddies @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm ($7) This Saint Paul almost-acapella quintet has become somewhat of an institution at the Trick, filling the music room with fans and harmonies that stretch from sea shanties to the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.

The Gated Community @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) A six-piece band where country meets bluegrass, electric meets acoustic, and Love and Art meet Politics and Science.

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

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