Blues, roots, and all that jazz: 9.27 – 10.3

September 27, 2017

Well, I have found that I’m missing something in my life by not writing about who is appearing in town. I receive so much energy from music, that even writing about it is helpful, as is the good thoughts and vibes of friends and readers of this blog. So… I’m going to try to go back to a weekly blog. As James Brown declared in Get Up Offa That Thing, I’m Back! I hope to keep my descriptions short, and perhaps list fewer events. I’m not including videos at this time. We’ll see how it all goes. In the meantime, here’s some ideas for the next week

Jazz

Thursday, Sept 28

Mary Louise Knutson & Gordy Johnson @ Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11:30pm (No Cover) Businessmen, politicians, and Saint Paul Socialites have been meeting at the Lex for years. It now features jazz duos and trios on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Knutson’s warm and inventive piano playing will be accompanied by Gordy Johnson on bass.

Mari Harris & Bruce A. Henry @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Mari Harris is an award-winning singer/songrwriter, actress, and Speaker who has been often been seen performing with Pippi Ardennia. Bruce Henry is the former Twin Citizen who now lives in Chicago and has performed on five continents.

Friday, Sept 29

Jazz Alley Ella-Bration @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Alley is the group name for three fine vocalists – Maryann Sullivan, Sarah Greer, and Katia Cardenas – who will join forces with pianist Lori Dokken to celebrate the music of Ella Fitzgerald, whose centennial anniversary is this year.

Saturday, Sept 30

No Room For Squares @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This is the Boom Island debut of this quintet, which was a hit at this years Twin Cities Jazz Festival. It includes veterans of the Twin Cities jazz scene including Jimmie (Jimmyapolis) Wallace, sax; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) The New Orleans-themed Vieux is the perfect place for this heavyweight Brass Band from Madison who have managed to gain acceptance in New Orleans while incorporating both traditional brass band music and contemporary tunes into their playlist.

Leigh Kammen Classic Originals @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project and Pianist/vocalist Larry McDonough have teamed up for this special presentation on Tony Bennett, Bill Evans, and Leigh Kamman. McDonough and his trio will perform a set of the music of Bennett & Evans, followed by audio interviews of Kamman with Bennett and Evans. Afterwards there will be a second set of originals by the trio. Joining McDonough are Richard Terrill, saxes and poetry; and bassist Greg Stinson

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tonights performances are by Trio 280: Joel Shapira, guitar; Erin Woods, drums; and Wes Roulle, organ, followed at 8:30 by the JC Sanford Quartet: Sanford, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, Sunday, Sept 30, Oct 1

Bacharach: All Saxed Up @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3PM Sunday ($25) Vocalist Patty Peterson and Cookie Coleman are joined by saxophonist Kathy Jensen, bassist Tony Axtell, and pianist Mary Louise Knutson to perform the music of Burt Bacarach.

Sunday, Oct 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. Sundays, 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums, have now been appearing at the Riverview on a weekly basis for 10 years. It’s  the longest running weekly jazz gig in the Twin Cities, but that doesn’t mean you should put off going to hear the trio. During the month of October, the band is celebrating by giving away copies of a limited release CD recorded live at the Riverview in earlier this year to customers during the month. This is always a fun, enjoyable gig.

Tuesday, October 3

Pat Mallinger & Bill Carrothers @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15) Two musicians who grew up and starting playing in the Twin Cities many years ago return for this inspired outing. Mallinger on sax, and Carrothers on piano seem to be returning to the cities a bit more than they have in the past, inspired, I’m sure by the warm, enthusiastic reception they get at the Dunsmore Listening Room.

Larry McDonough Quartet CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The CD is entitled “Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures” and features the quartet: Larry McDonough, piano, compositions, and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes and original poetry; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums, with special guest, Steve Kenny, flumpet. The title tracks of the 2 volume CD (one is acoustic, the other is electric) are mash-ups of McDonough’s take on Bill Evans’ “Alice in Wonderland” and his re-arrangement of Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge.”

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, as comprehensive calendar of jazz events as you’ll find

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Sept 27

Junior Watson and Mitch Kashmar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  “Left Coast” Blues from Harpist Mitch Kaschmar, who’s been around for a few decades, but didn’t make a splash until his 2005 debut, Nickels and Dimes, on Delta Groove Records. Since then he’s delivered a few more solid albums featuring his sometimes overdriven harp, courtesy of Little Walter’s influence, along with the fleet fingering and flexibility that he learned from William Clarke.  Junior Watson is a fine guitarist with whom Twin Citizens may be more familiar, as he’s visited us numerous times and in the past has played with the late Lynwood Slim. However, it’s ten years since the two have played in MN, so expect a hearty party. Tune in and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear. If you can’t make it tonight, you’ve got another chance on Friday (see below).

Salsa del Soul @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) This nine-piece band plays music from through the Latin regions of the Caribbean. With songs that range from Cha-Chas, to Timba, and of course, Salsa, they bring out lots and lots of dancers

Thursday, Sept 28

Black Uhuru @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door) Derrick “Duckie” Simpson the “Gong Gong Gullie” is the founder and leader for reggae’s Black Uhuru, and though other members of the trio have come and gone, he has managed to keep the group, and it’s distinctive sound, going for almost 50 years now. Aside from Bob Marley, Black Uhuru has the highest record sales in reggae, with14 full length albums, 7 instrumental dub albums, and 4 live albums

DL Cajun Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) With Louisiana Rhythms no longer broadcasting on KFAI, local fans of Southwest Louisiana music have to depend on liver performances by resident and visiting artists. Tonight such fans can spin, twirl, and two-step to Twin Cities favorites, the DL Cajun Band, purveyors of traditional Cajun music: Dough Lohman, guitar; Shawn Glidden, accordion; Marie Stier, fiddle; and Dawn Doering, triangle & snare.

Friday, September 29

Mitch Kashmar & Junior Watson @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) As long as they’re here, Kashmar & Watson are playing a few other gigs in the area, including this one at Wilebski’s.  Opening is the Paul Barry Blues Band with Lila Ammons.

Saturday, Sept 30

Annie Mack @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Annie Mack has been tearing up the blues scene in town for a number of years, singing with other bands as well as her own. She is, however, more than a blues singer, as Living Blues Magazine put it, “In a blues world overrun with bad-mama posturing on one hand and hoochie-mama silliness on the other, it’s refreshing to hear a lyricist with deeper ideas on her mind.” Opening is the genre-bending duo The Salt Vine, featuring Jen Bluhm on vocals and ukelele; and Charles Jolly on guitar.

Mungion & Soap @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Chicago-based jam band Mungion plays highly danceable rock. Minneapolis’ own Soap melds psychedelic funk (is there such a thing?) with danceable rock. Think in terms of a combination of Led Zeppelin and P.Funk.

Silvertones @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) When I just want to dance to songs of the 60s, I go out to hear the Silvertones, who are equally at home playing the music of The Ronettes as they are the music of Steppenwolf.

Sunday, Oct 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) With the advent of Autumn, the members of Corpse Reviver once again take the afternoon stage at the 331 Club to play music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. Members include: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and oftentimes, special guests.

Sunday, Monday, Oct 1,2

The Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as the Combo (aka Mambo’s Combo) brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig for 30 years, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

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: The Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html and the City Pages Concert Calendar: http://www.citypages.com/concerts

Advertisements

TC Jazz Fest and More: 6.21 – 6.27

June 21, 2017

Greetings everyone;

It’s the big weekend for jazz fans as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday through Saturday. Great headliners and about 300 resident artists will be appearing on stages all over town. Besides Mears Park, Rice Park, and the Union Depot, downtown venues include the Black Dog Cafe, Golden’s Deli, the Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), the Hat Trick Lounge, The Amsterdam, and others. Don’t forget the piano-centric acts at Vieux Carré, with its late night jam, and the stage in the tpt building featuring vocalists all weekend. There are also performances at venues outside of downtown at venues like the Como Dockside and the Episcopal homes. I’ve got the link to the schedule below. Fans of blues and roots also have reasons to be happy, as I’ve listed. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 21

Lee Engele @ The Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7pm (Free) A preview gig for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Vocalist Engele has a particularly good way with acoustic swing aka gypsy jazz, though she handles standards and the occasional bossa nova with elegance and ease, especially with such stellar accompaniment as Reynold Philipsek on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass. .

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pedalty’s voice has just a bit of an edge, which she often uses to give a slyly sardonic reading to the Great American Songbook, though she’s adept at pop as well. She’ll be accompanied by her dad Bruce, a veteran of the Senders, Mojo Buford, and several area big bands, as well as Gary Miller on bass.

Christian Sands @ The Dakota, Minneapolls. 7pm ($20) Sands is an up and coming pianist who has already arrived in some sense. He’s been a key member of Christian McBride’s Trio for a number of years, was nominated for five Grammys, and was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor. He recently released his debut recording, Reach.

JT Bates Grain Trio @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul 8:00pm ($6) Get your B3 organ fix as drummer Bates brings Kevin Gasonguey, B3, and Zacc Harris, guitar, to the basement club. Things will be cookin!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23, 24

Twin Cities Jazz Festival  @ Saint Paul locations. (Free) It’s about the most anticipated event of the year for area jazz fans, though fans of R&B, funk, and world music also get to hear some of their favorite bands for free. You can find the schedule here. Needless to say, headliners Anat Cohen, Terrance Blanchard, McCoy, and others are well worth your while, but get to Mears Park early to also hear folks like Emmet Cohen, Bobby Lyle, and our own Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code in opening slots. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase at Union Depot has been expanded to both Friday and Saturday, with the McNally Smith Vocal Ensemble headlining on Friday, and the Dakota Combo headlining on Saturday.

Friday, Saturday, June 23, 24

Django Festival All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Honoring the “hot jazz” (aka gypsy jazz) of Django Rheinhardt, this sextet brings their own creativity to the swinging style. Author and critic Will Friedwald, said of them, “the collective talent pool on the bandstand is larger than the Arc de Triomphe.”

Sunday, June 25

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ The Church of Saint Albert, East 29th Street & 32 Ave, Minneapolis. 1pm – 3pm ($20) Part of a monthly music series examining the music of the 20, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Today it’s the music of the 1930s. Both vocalist Hixson and pianist Carlson excel at this sort of thing.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you aren’t quite ready to give up the spirit of the jazz fest, you can continue your jazz jones with the ever-inventive guitarist Zacc Harris and his trio.

Monday, June 26

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Cellist Greg Byers leads this quartet: Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums.

Tuesday, June 27

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $45/wDinner) Pianist Johnson lived in the Twin Cities for a few years, entertaining us with his lovely playing. Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been playing a booking jazz. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. He has a unique program for 7-17 year olds called Reach afar, to educate them about elements of jazz in hip-hop.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 27, 28

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. Until the last year or so she was on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them. She’s performed here about twice a year in the last three years and her shows often sell out, or come close to it. Be forewarned.

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, June 21

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Northurp Auditorium Plaza, U of MN, Minneapolis. Noon (Free) Grab a baguette, some cheese and fruit, and if you keep it hidden, perhaps a bottle of wine, and have a picnic while enjoying the music of this “bongos and berets” group, playing French musettes, a cumbia or two, and some old standards.

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Cooker John learned to fingerpick from Artie Traum in NYC during the folk boom of the 60s. Since then he’s traveled the country, has played in numerous bands, and for the past few decades has played solo, or with one or two others. I recall hearing about him playing the Midwest back in the 80s. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Randall Webb, Ben Kaplan, and John Vizard. Listen in and head over to the 331 Club if you want to hear more.

Paul Bergen & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Sound @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7pm (No cover) Honky-tonkin’ swamp country blues from members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtss A’ band and others. This is part of a June residency that takes place in H&L’s lounge.

Jillian Rae & Hannah von der Hoff @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 8pm ($6) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Jillian Rae has a Wednesday night June residency at the Aster, bringing her band along to help while she sings her own originals as well as some tasty covers. Tonight she has guitarist/singer/songwriter Hannah von der Hoff along for the ride. Here’s Hannah!

Thursday, June 22

Mikkel Beckmen w/Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen has slide guitar master Jeff Ray as his guest at this after work gig.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) Soul, R&B, and ballads from a master vocalist.

Jonatha Brooke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooke has released nine albums of literate adult pop and two live discs, all of which were well received by critics if not exactly big sellers, and has used crowd funding on her last two albums. Though born in Boston, and having lived in Los Angeles and New York, Brooke relocated to Minneapolis last year, home to her husband/manager. She’s happy with the move, and has been having fun calling on resident talent to fill her bands here. Tonight, she’ll be accompanied by Kevin Gastonguay on keys; Jeff Bailey, bass; Joey van Phillips, drums; Aby Wolf, vocals; Rebecca Arons, cello; and Sean Driscoll, guitar.

Friday, June 23

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) He was known as Wee Willie Walker during the 60s and 70s Soul Explosion, and still goes by that name on his website, but the name doesn’t account for his sonorous voice, with a bit a whiskey gravel to it, and an interpretive ability that defines soul.

Charlie Parr @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) It’s nine months since this blues vagabond opened the H&L, so apparently it’s time to have him back. Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders open.

Saturday, June 24

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Barbecue, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free) The ribs at Big Daddy’s will get an extra helping of funky soulfulness as the big-voiced blues belter Big George Jackson performs as part of the the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Papa John Kolstand & the Perfect Phitts @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Singer, raconteur, and guitarist Papa John Kolstad brings his wit, wisdom, and sense of fun to Merlins, the best neighborhood bar in Minneapolis. The Phitts are Bill Smith, harmonica and vocals; Gary Powell, National Steel and vocals; and Bill Grenke, bass. There is a reason they’re called the Perfect Phitts as they play seamlessly and perform some three part harmonies.

Sunday, June 25

The Funky United @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) I may be mistaken, but this appears to be a new group, though it’s members have been around for a while: Scott Glaser, bass; Dev Jana, guitar; Chris Kellick, keys; Tim Moran, drums; and Mick Sterling, vocals.. They play original funky soul.

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) It’s the last Sunday of the month, so the Gang once again holds court at the oldest continually operating bar in MN. Today, Papa John Kolstad will be in the hot seat, playing with Bill Greinke, bass; Rena Haus and Dan Schwalbe, guitars; and Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harmonica.

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.


CD Releases and Visiting Artists: 5.31 – 6.5

May 31, 2017

Well, the beginning of June brings us at least three CD releases, some very fine visiting artists, and once again, a bevy of resident talent. Music lifts the spirit. PS: This was written a couple of weeks ago, before I left on vacation, so it might be wise to check with venues before going out.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 31

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Saxophonist Potter was 18 when he joined bebop legend Red Rodney’s band. Since then he’s worked with Paul Motion’s Electric Bebop band, Jim Hall, Steely Dan, and may be best known for his extensive work with Dave Holland, though he’s been on over 100 albums as a sideman. He’ll have his Underground Quartet along, with Adam Rogers, guitar; Fima Ephron, bass; and Nate Smith, drums.

Geoff Bouchier @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bouchier is a guitarist who draws from R&B, funk, and jazz in playing music that ranges from the Great American Songbook to pop of the past 40 or 50 years. You’ve undoubted heard him on many radio and jingle recordings, but he also contributed tracks to Janet Jackson’s Control album and has performed with artists such as Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, and more. He’ll likely have play in a trio format, though who’ll be with him is unknown as of this writing.

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Pianist Hobert  eems to be everywhere lately, either as a sideman, working in world music contexts, or otherwise leading interesting groups. Tonight he’s joined by Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and Arthur LA Buckner, drums. Here is Hobert with Issam Rafea, oud player.

Thursday, June 1 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Another of Zacc Harris  many groups, all of which are excellent, no matter what approach they take to jazz. Tonight it’s: Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums.

Friday, June 2

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Three part harmonies from Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks, and Tom Lieberman, who first formed Rio Nido in the 70s, put out a few albums, and then developed their own separate careers. A year or so back they reunited for a special event and were so well received that they’re now doing a few shows a year.

Pete Enblom/Bob Parsons Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Enblom played lead trombone for the Buddy Rich Band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He currently plays with The Brian Setzer Orchestra, MNJazz, The Bill Simonson Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band. Saxophonist Bob Parsons has played and/or arranged for Dave Stryker, Joe Henderson, The Wolverines Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, and Andrew Walesch’s nonet, among others. No word at this time on who will round out the quartet.

HOAXER CD Release @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Four post-HS musicians have come together to create a CD produced by Steve Kenny, who has mentored each of them. Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, keys; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Caitlin, drums; all served in the Dakota Combo before going off to college a few years ago. They recorded the CD over two days last December, while home from school, and now that they’ve returned for the summer, are celebrating the release of Crash Test, featuring eight original compositions by members of the group.

Saturday, June 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm: No Room for Squares, led by drummer Bill Steiger. Recent configurations of this group have included:Jon Pemberton, trumpet; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, saxes; Mikkel Ramstead, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass, though it’s hard to say who will be with him tonight. At 8:30pm it’s The Paul Harper Bardo Band, with Harper, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Patrick is the perfect example of someone who has reinvented himself late in life. After sitting in at the old Nye’s piano bar one evening, he discovered that he had a talent for singing. He’s gone on to embrace the music of crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and has a band that plays out pretty often, whether for dancers, corporate events or weddings.

Monday, June 5

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm $30, $35) Guitarist Liebert is a pioneer in the Nouveau Flamenco style, which incorporates tradition flamenco technique in a modern pop context. It’s worked. In the last twenty years he’s released 25 albums, been nominated for a Grammy five times, and has received 38 certifications for Gold and Platinum sales status.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (($10, $5 w/Student ID) Many area jazz lovers have watched as pianist Kjeer has grown from a gifted high school student to an even more gifted college student/young adult finding his own voice as a musician. At this point I don’t know who he’ll have with him, but it’s likely to be some of his equally talented peers, back from college. Here he is leading a group in his original composition.

Tuesday, June 6

Bill Simenson Orchestra CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) This monthly gig for the Simenson Orchestra is special tonight, as they are celebrating the release of Big Alpaca. It’s a fine album, full of twists and turns that will delight and surprise the listener. Of course, the band is outstanding with members that include Pete Whitmanm, Doug Little, Simenson himself on trumpet, Jake Baldwin, Pete enblom, Ted Godbout, David Maritn and more….

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music at http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 31

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Hi-energy blues from Crankshaft  Anoka’s contribution to Deep Blues. You know the drill, as Harold Tremblay says.

Doug Otto & The Getaways @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The often forlorn vocals of Doug Otto are given just the right foundation of blues, Americana, and country sounds by the Getaways.

Thursday, June 1

Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $55) You know him best as the drummer from prog rockers Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, but before that Carl Palmer provided the rhythmic foundation for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Atomic Rooster, while afterwards he played with Asia. This show will feature new arrangements of instrumentals by ELP and a few others.

12 Bar Jambalaya @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) This five-piece band from Illinois plays a combination of funk, blues, and jazz, to get you jumping. Get a taste of their raucous sound here.

Friday, June 2

Toast in the Machine @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Well, what we have here is a Police Tribute Band – really!  It’s likely the only one in Minnesota, so if you’re a fan of the original, you may want to check out TC Ortberg, Andy Schultz, and Andy Deckard paying homage to the original rock trio.

Wilkinson James @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Liz Wilkinson and AJ Scheiber head up this band, which blends honky-tonk vocal stylings and edgy but classic-sounding original songs to create music that a listener once described as “the bastard offspring of Townes Van Zandt and June Carter Cash.” Their self-titled debut, produced by Ben Kyle of Romantica, dropped in early 2014; this show will celebrate the appearance of their new CD, Abandon, a Fall 2016 release on St. Paul’s House of Mercy Records.

Saturday, June 3

Javier Matos @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Guitarist/vocalist Javier Matos has been playing the blues as a professional since 1992. While in California he worked with a couple of the Blasters in The Blue Shadows, and also formed a group called the Doghouse Lords. He was recently selected by the MN Blues Society to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge next January. In other words, he can keep it real. Don’t take my word for it, The AllMusic guide noted, “He can play bottleneck slide blues like he was born with a National guitar in his hands.” Reservations recommended, as this place get busy for brunch.

Morel Fest @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 2pm until (Free) Well, not only will you get to taste butter-fried morel mushrooms with saltines (as long as the morels last), but starting at 3pm you get music from Romantica, Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers; Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures; The Flood Brothers, Javier Matos; and the King of the Tramps. Oh, and lest I forget, you can also get craft beers from Indeed Brewing.

The Eddies @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Grab a pint and listen to this quartet sings of life, death, broken hearts, and work.

Big Daddy Cade’s Tribute to BB King @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Big Daddy Cade is originally from Chicago, but now lives in Wisconsin. He’s been doing this tribute, which was originally blessed by BB King himself, for about a couple of decades. He’s not a one-trick-pony however, and frames the Tribute with a couple of sets of blistering blues and funk.

Sunday, June 6

Sweet Colleens CD Release @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Though their isn’t a “Colleen” among them, the Sweet Colleens are nevertheless releasing their fifth album, 10 Mona Lisas, which features their trademark mix of Celtic and American folk roots music. There will be a special appearance by Kate McMahon (of the original Riverdance), who guests on the album, and an opening set by Gambler’s Daughter.

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.

Jazz

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.


It’s the 4th! Music: 7.1-7.7

July 1, 2015

Unknown-2Well, the day got away from me, so this post doesn’t contain videos, but I think anyone reading this can find videos if you want to hear what an artist sounds like. Anyway,  the defining event of the summer is upon us, and with the 4th of July celebration, we find that music, is not as plentiful as during other weeks of the year. Nevertheless, the weekend brings some celebrations that include music and fireworks, and there are a couple of long-term residencies that you can check out.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 1

Charles Lloyd @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) If you are a jazz fan, you have to here this master saxophonist at least once in your life. Lloyd’s career goes back to the 60s, when he won many young fans by playing the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) This young singer/pianist is excellent with both of his instruments. He also understands the need to engage the audience as an entertainer. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; Pete Johnson, drums; and special guest Adam Meckler on trumpet.

Vector Families @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Yet another project from bassist Anthony Cox, with Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King, drums; and Cox on cello and bass.

Thursday, July 2

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s another foodie night at the Dakota, with no cover, wine specials, and a terrific band. Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; give new life to standards

Friday, July 3

Thomas Bruce @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Sublime vocals in the cozy lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Bassist Young has been honing his tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire, to create an entertaining, groovin’ and jazzful evening.

Hanson, Roessler, & Anderson @ Sweet 17, 308 Prince Street, Suite 317, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s an under the radar gig if there ever was one. It’s essentially a house concert with Nathan Hanson, sax; Doan Roessler, bass; and Marc Anderson, percussion. It’s a BTOB affair. Doors at 8:30

Saturday, July 4

Big Bands and Fireworks @ City Parks.  Here’s a trio of big bands, each capable of producing their own musical fireworks, providing the entertainment before the holiday fireworks. Whether you live near these towns, or are willing to travel a bit, it’s a musical way to celebrate our country’s Independence Day.

1: St. Croix Jazz Orchestra @ Minnesota Pioneer Park, Stillwater. 7pm (Free) With Andrew Walesch on vocals.

2: Wolverines Big Band @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 7pm – 10pm (Free)  Featuring Judi Vinar, Maude Hixson, and Jason Richards on vocals.

3: Roseville Big Band @ Central Park, Roseville. 7pm – 9pm (Free)

Sunday, July 5

Saints of Swing @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Here’s another big band gig, this time it’s lakeside at Como Lake, and the new Como Dockside is right there to serve drinks and food.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) There’s a good reason this trio has had a long running residency at the Wine Bar. Harris’ tasteful guitar, along with Pete Hennig’s drumming and Matt Peterson’s bass, provide music that’s just right for drinking the venue’s wide selections of wine and food.

Monday, July 6

Irv Williams CD Release Part @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Irv Williams is 95 and still churning out CDs. This one, Pinnacle, is perhaps his third or fourth since announcing his “retirement” some years back. Always worth seeing. How the man keeps such a gorgeous tone is something every budding young sax player should learn.

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, July 1

Midwest Paul Cook on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)

Thursday, July 2

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) Another weekly gig. The Butanes played the New Orleans Jazz Festival with Earl King, and most assuredly have earned the title of the best blues band in the Twin Cities.

The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) If you’re a fan of the Meters and Booker T. and the MGs, then you’ll appreciate this instrumental band of Chris Beaty, guitar; Jim Anton, bass; Noah Levy drums; and Tommy Barbarella, organ. They’ve played together in various groups for over 25 years, and are tight!

Friday, July 3

Booker T. Jones @ the Dakota, Mpls. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) He had a hit with Green Onions when he was just 16 and he and the MGs were the house band for Stax Records. Many hits followed and many performances, during which their place in the pantheon of rock n’ roll was secured. Nowadays, with the passing of two of the original members of the group, Jones has worked with established rock bands, winning yet another Grammy Potato Hole, his 2010 album with the Drive By Truckers, and for 2012’s The Road From Memphis with The Roots.

Willie Murphy Blues Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11:30pm Murphy returns to the Black Dog, this time with his blues trio in tow.

Sweet Tea @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Funky blues for your dancing pleasure on the eve of the 4th.

Freewheelin’ First Friday @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5?) Nikki & the Rue-Mates open at 7pm, followed by the Honky-Tonk/Fok/Roots of Wilkinson James at 9pm.

Patty Peterson & Friends w/Melanie Rosales @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Vocalist Peterson likes to straddle the line between jazz and R&B, as do her friends, which tonight includes Melanie Rosales, which long time Twin Citizens may remember from The Doug Maynard Band of the late 70s.

Saturday, July 4

Armadillo Jump @ Lakeside Park, Hudson, WI. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Free) Head across the Saint Croix for an afternoon of jump blues and general holiday activity, including a hot dog eating contest, a kids tract pull, food stands, and a beer garden, as well as later entertainment by Ponzi Scheme and Uncle Chunk. No fireworks, though.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42) One show only tonight, so everyone can get out and see fireworks afterwards.

Sunday, July 5

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:45pm (Tip Jar) Ace fingerpicking and fine vocals from Heywood provide a comfortable, yet adventurous end to the weekend.

Vinicius Cantuaria @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This soft-voiced Brazilian brings bossa novas into the 21st Century, imbuing the music of Jobim and Gilberto Gil with hints of electronica while staying decidedly acoustic. He’s collaborated with Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and similar forward thinking musicians, and has

Tuesday, July 7

Church of Cash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Another foodie night, this one sponsored by the Minnesota Music Coalition, and bringing this quintet’s love of Johnny Cash to the masses.

Mayo, Jacox, and Eckstrand @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Paul Mayasich holds down the guitar chair at the Station (formerly Manitou Station) every Tuesday night, bringing in all sorts of friends to complement his playing. Tonight he has Bobby E. (Eckstrand), an under appreciated guitarist, as well as vocalist extraordinaire Maurice Jacox.

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


A Wealth of Music: 2.25 – 3.3

February 25, 2015

images-2We are faced with another week in which the richness of artistic offerings here in the Twin Cities can create difficult choices when going out. Much like the teens at right choosing from a jukebox, it’s a good problem to have. Get out and support our resident artists and check out visiting artists as well. We’ll all benefit, since music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 25

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover)  Pianist Walesch is an emerging artist on the vocal jazz scene in the Twin Cities. Though he concentrates on the Great American Songbook and jazz standards, including Frank Sinatra, he also writes his own material and has been known to perform a pop song or two.

Leisure Valley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This is a relatively new group featuring Bruce Thornton, reeds; Patrick Harrison, button accordion; Joey Van Philips, drums; and Chris Bates, bass. I have to admit I haven’t heard them, but judging by the inclusion of Bates, Harrison and Van Philips, I’m betting they’ll swing.

UnknownMcNally Smith Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman has gathered together a talented big band of 17 students at McNally Smith College of Music. Their repertoire ranges from Hard Bop to Afro-Peruvian Festejo music. They are an exciting ensemble to watch and hear, and have recently toured in Peru, and took first place at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

 

Thursday, February 26

Fireside Five and Guests @ The Underground Music Cafe, 1579 Hamline Ave North, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) The UMC is a cozy spot featuring coffee, wine, and beer, as well as chairs for about 40 folks. Lately, they’ve been featuring jazz on a regular basis. Tonight it’s the talented musicians of the Fireside Five: Tom Ashworth, trombone & euphonium; Brian Grivna, reeds; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Special guests include Pat Mallinger, sax; Zack Lozier, trumpet; and Dean Sorenson, trombone. A rather star-studded evening for such an intimate room.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and tonight’s artist, Erin Livingston, is not only a vocalist, but a classically trained flautist. She has been singing around town with the Parisota Hot Club, performing blues, some Beatles, and the gypsy jazz of Django Rheinhardt. Tonight she’ll be accompanied by Parisota guitarist Robb Henry. Here’s a surprising choice of music.

Friday, February 27

Photo of Javi by Andrea Canter

Photo of Javi by Andrea Canter

Javi Santiago Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Santiago is in town for a few months, and we’re lucky to have some opportunities to hear his fine playing. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has become the place to hear many of the Twin Cities best singers, including Ms Duncan, who is somewhat of a legend in the Twin Cities for her superb ability to sing jazz and blues with equal verve.

Saturday, February 28

Bacharach & David with Oscars for "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"

Bacharach & David with Oscars for “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”

Arne Fogel and Jennifer Eckes: the Songs of Bacharach & David @Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($26) From Alfie and Wishin’ and Hopin’, to What’s New Pussycat and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David created a soundtrack for the 60s. Fogel & Eckes put their own interoperation on these songs and many more, with the help of Rick Carlson, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of modern, original jazz. Tonight’s opening band is Central Standard Time, a band of young upstarts and a couple of veterans, with Charlie Lincoln, bass; Sten Johnson, sax; Dave Roos, guitar; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Alex Burgess, drums. Then at 8:30pm the Zacc Harris Group will take the stage with Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums; and Chris Bates, bass.

Monday, March 2

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Narrows Saloon, Wayzata. 7pm (No cover) Get down with some Soul Jazz from Brian Zienmiak, B3; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Bob Parsons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Parson is a Minnesota saxophonist who lived in NYC for much of the 90s and 00s, where he was an arranger for folks like Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, and the Brecker Brothers, among others, and was co-leader of the Blue Note Late Night Band for several years. He also recorded four albums with guitarist Dave Styker. Since returning to the Twin Cities in 2008 he has been a member of the Acme Jazz Company Big Band. tonight he’ll be playing his own compositions and arrangements.

Tuesday, March 3

Rene Marie @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Vocalist Rene Marie is one of the most distinctive voices in the nation these days, a daring artist with the ability to crawl inside a lyric and make it her own. Tonight she’s performing her homage to the sensual singer and actress Eartha Kitt, the subject of Marie’s most recent (10th) album. Here’s a song from the album.

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Both Magraw on guitar and Seru on drums & percussion are extremely versatile, and both are capable of finishing the other’s musical thoughts. It’s always a treat to hear them.

For a comprehensive listings of Jazz, go to Jazz Police and  the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on jazz, check out Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 25

Big George Jackson on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – tip Jar) The big man with the deep deep voice sings the blues like no other in town. It’s authentic, and comes from his heart, whether singing originals or songs that you recognize. One thing is certain, Jackson’s music will make you move.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Treat yourself to some romantic ballads and jumping’ swing tunes from Radio Joe and the guys. It’s high quality stuff.

Thursday, February 26

Beckmen, Roux, & Rue @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard/percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings in guests each week to join him on the Dubliner’s small stage. Tonight he’s joined by Nikki Roux and Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-Mates. A good way to spend some post work time.

Black Audience & Voice of Culture @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($10) Vocalist Jayanthi Kyle is the not-so-secret weapon in the arsenal of Black Audience as they play music that draws upon Folk music, Black Heritage, Work songs, and Chain Gang songs. Opening act Voice of Culture is a West African drum and dance group that spans generations.

Friday, February 27

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, and good ol’ Rock n’ roll from Mr Murphy and his rockin’ cohorts. There’ll be lotsa dancing on one of the best dance floors in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, February 28

Selby Avenue Syncopaters @ The Bayport BBQ. 8pm ($5) Here’s a change of pace for Chris Johnson’s smoking’ BBQ joint; some traditional jazz. The Syncopaters include Jeffrey Dunitz, guitar; Tom Zosel, reeds; Harold Longley, tuba; Tim Altmann, trumpet; Chris Wiley, trombone; and Tom Lyseng, drums. Heck, this kind of music goes with BBQ just as much as the blues.

Funktion Junction @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Not sure how this 7-piece funk band will fit on the Station’s small stage area, but I’m betting the mostly middle-aged crowd that frequents the Station will be shaking their booties all night long.

Saturday, Sunday, February 28, March 1

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) This classically-trained duo use violin and viola to play a blend of classical music, hip-hop, rock, and R&B, with some bluegrass thrown in for good measure. They’ve played for one of Obama’s Inaugural Balls, on Broadway, and for troops in Iraq, and have collaborated with folks ranging from Kanye West to Aretha Franklin and The Eagles. Opening is Twin Cities artist LOTT.

Sunday, March 1

Grateful Sundays @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) Deadheads Unite! You have nothing to lose but a fun time listening to acoustic and electric sets of Grateful Dead music presented by the Shotgun Ragtime Band. Acoustic sets start at 6pm and are family friendly. Electric sets start at 8pm and go until about 11.

FullSizeRender

Cadillac at Pioneer & Soldiers Cemetery

Cadillac Kolstad @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) With the wildness of a young Jerry Lee Lewis, Kolstad attacks the piano with vigor, backed by a rockabilly rhythm section that matches his ferocity note for note.

Monday, March 2

Jon Rodine @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Tip Jar) Besides working for Red House Records, Rodine is one of the Twin Cities finest singer/songwriters of blues and roots music, though truth be told, he is relatively unknown, though he’s played and recorded with a heavy duty roster of Midwest musicians. Check him out and then stay for the fun-filled Roe Family Singers at 9pm.

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


More Visiting and Resident Artists. 10.22 – 10.28

October 22, 2014
Remember these jukeboxes?

Remember these jukeboxes?

It’s another week of music to pique your curiosity and raise your spirits. We have some interesting visiting artists (like Omaha Diner) and exciting resident artists providing all sorts of music for your listening (and dancing) pleasure. Have a good week.

 Jazz

Wednesday, October 22
images-2Charmin & Shapira @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Sublime singing from Charmin Michelle  along with some gorgeous guitar from Joel Shapira makes for a lovely evening. They’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass, Paul Harper, sax; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Steven Hobert Piano Improvisation @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Hobert is a sensitive and imaginative piano player, who can take off on flights of fancy and anchor a swinging tune as well.

Thursday, October 23
Elizabeth Shepard @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday’s vocal night at Jazz Central features a visiting artist, Elizabeth Shepard, whose 2006 album, Start to Move, was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year on the highly influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC. She’s a Canadian pianist/vocalist who has been called “a jazz virtuoso with a pop sensibility,” an apt description for her re-imagining of standards and her originals. Her most recent album, The Signal, received a positive write-up in the October issue of Jazz Times.

Pavel Jany @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) A rare solo performance from guitarist Jany, who is proficient, to say the least, in Latin rhythms as well as improvisation. With his knowledge of songs and rhythms, this is likely to be a musical trip around the world.

Friday, October 24
Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Walker is a talented pianist and prolific composer with a sensitive, lyrical bent to his compositions. Tonight he’s joined by Scott Fultz, sax; Jeff Brueske, bass; and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Katie Gearty Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Gearty is a highly versatile singer, more than capable of singing jazz, rock, pop, and soul.  She’s performed with Hookers & Blow, Mick Sterling, Bruce Henry, Arne Fogel, SteveClarke, and Zacc Harris, and starred in the musical “Lot of Living To Do” at The Southern Theater. Here’s a chance to hear her in an intimate setting. (There’s pretty darn good bar food available as well.)

Aaron Keith Stewart’s Homecoming @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm – 11:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Former Twin Cities resident Stewart returns to town to share his marvelous vocals. Here’s an example.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Drummer Washington is conversant in all kinds of rhythms, not to mention a panoply of musical styles, having played with Chico Freeman, James Carter, David “Fathead” Newman and a host of others. Expect some pretty swingin’ music tonight, as well as something Latin and something funky. Here they are about a year ago at the Dakota.

Saturday, October 25
Pippi Ardennia @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($?) Pippi’s celebrating her birthday by singing “feel good” music from a repertoire that includes jazz, R&B, and even some blues. I’ll be spinning vinyl afterwards.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) – The Saturday Night Jazz series continues at Lowertown’s informal community center. Kenny plays the flumpet, a combination trumpet and flugelhorn. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and JT Bates on drums. Here’s Kenny in a slightly different configuration.

Sunday, October 26
Zacc Harris Trio @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Hear the talented guitarist in his most basic element – a trio – with Matt Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Of course, there’s an extensive wine list and food available.

Monday, October 27
Omaha Diner @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35)  Here’s a group of stellar improvisers who play top 40 songs. In fact they guarantee that every song they play has hit #1 on Billboard’s pop chart. Now, given the lineup, with artists who have worked with folks ranging from Iggy Pop, Elton John, REM, and Linda Ronstadt, to Roswell Rudd, the Moscow Circus, and Sonny Sharrock, I’m not sure you’ll be able to recognize the songs, but I am sure you’ll be surprised. Charlie Hunter, seven-string electric guitar; Steve Bernstein, trumpets; Bobby Previte, drums; and Skerik, tenor sax. Here they are doing Love Train.

Doug Little @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Doug is a super talented reed player, with an affinity for Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms. He’s a key player in a number of groups, but tonight he’ll be working with bass and drums.

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Laurie is a NYC-born chanteuse, with a sophisticated approach to phrasing that’s well suited to acoustic swing music.

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, October 22
Unknown-4Creole Choir @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $45) The music of this Cuban group of ten vocalists draws on West African and Caribbean influences and is marked by passionate vocals and percussion. A must for any student of Cuban music and rhythms.

Ross Kleiner & the Thrill @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. (Free) This is a band that does more than simply revive rockabilly and old R&B. They add their own accents to create music that’s uniquely their own. Show up early if you want to take advantage of Shannon’s free dance lessons. Then you can swing, Lindy, or what have you to this outfit.

Thursday, October 23
Siama Matuzungidi & Mikkel Beckmen @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Matuzungidi is a vocalist and guitarist from Republic of Congo/Zaire. Beckmen, host of this Thursday series, plays washboard and other percussion. They will be joined by Dallas Johnson on vocals and percussion to explore the intersections where American Traditional music and the Village music of Zaire coexist. While they are playing you can partake of the Dubliner’s array of pints, or not, as you prefer.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?) A little Cajun. A little Zydeco. A bunch of Swamp Pop. It all adds up to dancing nirvana when the Pinecones take the stage.

Friday, October 24
Unknown-3Ecuador Manta @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Though they started in a small village in Ecuador 20 years ago, this group has gone beyond mere pan-pipe offerings (thought that distinctive instrument is still present) to incorporate a number of traditional and contemporary Latin rhythms in their music. Let’s hope there’s enough room for the dancers who will attend.

Tim Sparks & Marcus Wise @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30pm (No cover) Sparks is one of the master finger-pickers we have in this town. Wise plays tablas with more versatility than you would expect from the instrument. Get a table close to the stage for dinner, so you can really appreciate the musicianship of these two men.

Saturday, October 25
5 Bands @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. Noon – 5pm. Well, the guys at BBR are bringing back live music to accompany and possibly inspire your record browsing and buying. Noon – Country Mike; 1pm – Matt Hannah; 2pm – King of the Tramps; 3pm – Ringout!; 4pm – Monica LaPlante. Plus, it’s free, at least if you don’t buy any records.

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Cole had a number of top ten hits in the 90s. She’s recorded six albums in 18 years, and sold about 3 million copies, winning a Grammy, and getting nominated for another seven along the way. Her songs have been covered by Herbie Hancock and Annie Lennox, among others.

Sunday, October 26
2014bluesallstarsposterLGMinnesota Blues All-Stars CD Release Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 includes CD) the Minnesota Blues Society is hosting this event. The CD is the second volume of tunes by MN Blues Artists. This one features performances Lisa Wenger; the Walking Wounded; Jimi Primetime Smith; Hurricane Harold w/Eric McCawley; the Mooseknuckle Brothers; and others, many of whom will be playing.

Lonesome Shack @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Chris Johnson continues his bent for presenting Deep Blues with Lonesome Shack  a trio with a raw sound. Their latest album is called Primitive, an apt description for their highly charged music. Ticket price generally includes their BBQ buffet, though you might want to check with them to make sure: 651-955-6337.

Sunday, Monday, October 27, 28
Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Mambo’s Combo, Dr. Mambo’s Combo, or simply The Combo. Whatever the name, this group just keeps on playing (what is it – 20 years now?) and delivering a variety of dance-oriented old-school rock and R&B, with guests often sitting in for a tune or two. Here they are doing a Staple Singers 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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


%d bloggers like this: