Celebrations Galore: 4.5 – 4.11

April 5, 2017

We’ve now got April showers working to bring out the buds on trees and in gardens. We also have some fine visiting artists such as Stacy Kent, John Pizzarelli, Larry Fuller, and Elvin Bishop, as well as some unique events, such as the John Prine Celebration, Zeitgeist’s Early Music Festival, and a “Retirement Celebration” for Spider John Koerner. So…  once again we have many opportunities to let music lift our spirits. Take advantage of them.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 5

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Harold’s guests are usually be listed under Roots & Blues, but this is different. The Mississippi Hot Club plays gypsy jazz, also known as Jazz Manouche, the style of music pioneered by Django Rheinhardt during the late 1930s and WWII. Though their configuration is classic, they leave room for a bit of a modern take on the genre, with songs that might come from the folk idiom, romantic ballads, or jazz standards. Members are: Joshua Parlanti, guitar; Alissa Jacobsen, violin; Luke Zupan and Ian Stenlund, rhythm guitars; and Joseph Downing, upright bass.

Paul Harper’s Show & Tell Band @ The Hennepin Steam Room, 116 N. 1st Avenue, Mpls. 6:30pm -9:30pm (No Cover) The Hennepin Steam Room used to be Tangiers. They’ve redesigned the place and have committed to live music at least three nights a week. Tonight, saxophonist Paul Harper, who plays in the Illicit Sextet and other groups, leads his own band.

Wednesday, Thursday, April 5, 6

Stacy Kent, featuring Jim Tomlinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35) Vocalist Stacy Kent  ses her intimate, light voice very effectively, taking an elegant, minimalist approach to successfully convey the emotion behind songs from the Great American Songbook, France, and Brazil. Her latest album, 2015’sTenderly, is a collaboration with Roberto Menescal, the great Brazilian guitarist and composer, who wrote O Pato and other Bossa Nova hits. Her husband, Jim Tomlinson is a saxophonist whose playing evokes Stan Getz.

Thursday, April 6

Art & Jazz @ Casket Arts Building, 681 !7th Ave NE, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8:30pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities own nationally published jazz photographer Andrea Canter will be showing a collection of (mostly) black and white jazz portraits as well as a special collection of jazz-focused note cards in Studio 116. Meanwhile, The Dakota Combo w/bassist Adam Linz will perform at the 4th Floor Atrium at 5:30 & 7:30; while Larry McDonough & Carol Berquist will perform on the first floor at 6:30pm. BTW, 10% of Canter’s sales will go to The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vicky Mountain has taught of number of Twin Cities vocalists, as well she should, given how good she is at interpreting jazz standards, baseball songs, hip pop and some originals. She’ll be accompanied by David Martin on guitar, and special guests.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A double header, featuring The Jax Ravel Gang: Jax Ravel, bass; Blake Hubel, drums; and Javi Santiago, keys, followed at 10:30pm by the Alden Ikeda Group: Scott Newell, saxes; Alden Ikeda Drums; Steve Gnitka, guitar.

Thursday – Sunday, April 6, 8, 9, 10

earWorm Improvisation Ensemble mini-tour @ Khyber Pass & Other Area Venues. (Various Times) earWorm is a collective of composer-performers who present what they describe as “an immersive experience of electroacoustic improvisation, transporting listeners across a panoply of sonic landscapes.” They draw from many styles and experiences, including free-form jazz, blues, minimalism, electronica, dub-step, edm, hip-hop, funk, rock, classical, folk, and many musical traditions of the world. It’s experimental music, that’s for sure. Members are all multi-instrumentalists: James Holdman; Elliot McKinley; Peter Farmer; and Michael Ethan.  Thursday @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul (9pm, $5); Saturday @ The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights (7-pm no cover); Sunday @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul (4-6pm, no cover); and Monday @ Honey, Minneapolis (7:30 – 9:30pm no cover) Listen to their music here.

Friday, April 7

Lila Ammons @ The Hennepin Steam Room, 116 N. 1st Avenue, Mpls. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Lila Ammons is a classically trained vocalist with a family background in jazz (her uncle was saxophonist Gene Ammons) and blues (her grandfather was boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons). Listen to her take on jazz standards, bosses, and blues, backed by some of the Twin Cities best accompanists.

Saturday, April 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) For the first time in over 130 weekly shows at the Black Dog, a vocalist will be performing. Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz begin the evening at 7pm, with Maryann Sullivan  vocals; Doug Haining, sax; Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olson bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Steve Kenny Quartet, with Rodney Ruckus, drums (his last performance before moving out of the Cities); Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, and special guests.

JazzMN Big Band w/Guest Maria Schneider @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindberg Dr, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($35, $37, Students: $10, $20) For jazz fans, this will be a show not to miss. New York based composer Maria Schneider is the pride of Windom, MN, known around the world for her majestic compositions for large groups, including orchestras and symphonies. She’s won five Grammys, including two at the most recent awards for 2016. One was for Sue, her collaboration with David Bowie, and the other was for Thompson Fields, by her own orchestra. She’s been working with the JazzMN band all week, creating arrangements based on the band’s instrumentation.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist/vocalist Kate Lynch and the Fellows (bass, guitar, trombone, trumpet, drums) perform music from the 20s to the 50s, with an occasional 60s hit showing up once or twice an evening. Ms Lynch continues to provide historical perspective on songs, giving not only the year and composers, but other facts, such as what movies were playing downtown when the song was a hit, or where people would go shopping. Add to that the visuals of young swing dancers digging the music, and you have a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Sunday, April 9

John Pizzarelli @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35, $45), 8pm ($25, $35) Vocalist/guitarist John Pizzarelli is warm and witty onstage, whether telling a story or performing. In many respects he’s an old school entertainer – There’s no artifice, no attempts to play “hip chords” or the like, just honest music that’s exceptionally well played by an artist who engages the audience and swings like mad. Note the slightly earlier times for this Sunday night performance.

Monday, April 10

Reichfest @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The April Reichfest celebrating the music of the late minimalist Steve Reich, continues. Tonight a host of musicians will play Reich’s composition 2X5, from 2008. The group includes: Chris Cunningham; Zacc Harris; Pete Hennig; Cody McKinney; Thomas Nordlund; Chris Olson; Doan Brian Roessler; Javier Santiago; Zach Schmidt; and Brian Ziemniak. (Whew!). Second set is by JT Bates and others.

Tuesday, April 11

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover); 8pm (Trio, $6) Start your evening out with the piano stylings of Chris Lomheim, and then get your fill of soulful grease from JT Bates’ organ trio, featuring Bates on drums, of course, with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ.

Larry Fuller Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner) Fuller is a pianist who epitomizes the concept of swing, as well he should given his background. He got his start playing for classic vocalist Ernestine Anderson for five years, then went on to join the Jeff Hamilton Trio for six years, before joining the last edition of the Ray Brown Trio for a few years, and finally the John Pizzarelli Quartet for eight years. Along the way he’s also played with a pantheon of jazz illuminaries.

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, April 5

Radio Joe & The JazzBos @ Mancini’s Char House, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No cover) Given the old school Las Vegas vibe of the lounge at Mancini’s, Radio Joe and the JazzBos, with their vintage swing, jump blues, and romantic ballads, were made to fill the dance floor at the venerable Saint Paul institution.

Thursday, April 6

Verretta @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Original music performed with a big nod towards classic rock with a touch of punk. They say they’re an Outlaw Country Rock n’ Roll Revival Band, and listening to their songs, that seems about right, though perhaps more rock n’ roll than outlaw country.

9th Annual Big Fat Love @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Mother Banjo and Art Vandelay are at it for the 9th year in a row, celebrating the half birthday of John Prine. Each year they gather friends to sing the songs of Prine. This year’s participants include: Terry Walsh, of the Belfast Cowboys, The High 48s, The Gated Community, Kari Arnett, The Eddies, and many more.

Thursday – Sunday, April 6 – 10

Zeitgeists’s 7th Annual Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 2pm Sunday ($15, $10 Students & Seniors, $40 festival pass) This year new music group zeitgeist is celebrating the music of composer Lou Harrison, described as ” true American maverick, Harrison’s integrations of non-Western musical traditions and his innovative use of just intonation embraced new artistic possibilities and made a lasting impact that continues to shape new music today.”  Find out more about the program for each performance and the guest artists here

Friday, April 7

Teague Alexy Band CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Friday series features a trio of Americana groups tonight. It’s  CD Release Party for Teague Alexy (of Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank). The Thirsty River String Band, Trevor James Americana Rebel (of Tin Can Gin), and Ian Alexy will also be appearing. Teague Alexy’s songwriting is clearly influenced by his home in Minnesota as well as his childhood in New Jersey, and life as a traveling hobo musician. His new album is Circuit Sessions, on which he uses a strong rhythm section: Eric Pollard, bass; Steve Garrington, drums; as well as Jake Hanson, guitar. Special guests include Trevor James, the Thirsty River String Band and Ian Alexy.

McNasty Brass Band Vinyl Release Dance Party @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) The McNasty Brass Band has all the verve and outsized excitement that you might expect from a ten-piece band, including the use of contemporary and original songs. They released King Sized Life in January, and are now having another release party for the Vinyl Edition. You don’t have to know special steps to dance to this group, you only have to let your body react to their beats and the rhythm of the sousaphone.

Saturday, April 8

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9:30pm ($35 – $45) Bishop is master blues guitarist and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He started out with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and went on to a successful solo career. While playing solo he also played onstage with The Gratefull Dead, Al Kooper, and The Allman Brothers, recorded with John Lee Hooker, Clifton Chenier, Bo Diddley, and others, and toured with BB King. The Big Fun Trio is an apt name for his group (Bob Welsh, piano/guitar; Willy Jordan, vocalist/percussion), as Bishop’s songs have often been delivered with a sly sense of humor.

Johnny Rawls @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for a reserved table) Soul/Blues singer Rawls can work a crowd and deliver a satisfying, sweat inducing show. He started out playing for folks like ZZ Hill and Joe Tex, and eventually led the bands of OV Wright and Little Johnny Taylor before setting out on a solo career in the late 80s. Both his 2014 album with the late Otis Clay, entitled Soul Brothers, and Tiger In a Cage, from last year, show him to be in fine form.

The Magnolias @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) With twin guitars creating a buzz-saw attack, the Magnolias  urst on the Twin Cities music scene over 30 years ago, becoming known as “Minneapolis’ scruffy also-rans” compared to groups like the Replacements and Soul Asylum. Their fans knew better as the band recorded 3 albums by the end of the 80s, and two more in the 90s. After some fallow years, in the early 2000s, they issued some unrealesed tracks and demos in 2007, and toured Europe in 2008 and 2009. Opening act Johnny Rey has been a fixture of the vibrant Twin Cities music scene for four decades. The guitar player was an original member of Flamingo, playing the old Longhorn Bar in downtown Minneapolis. He led his own band for a few years, but stopped in 1985, not performing again until about four years ago.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Get your salsa dancing shoes out as this septet plays vintage and traditional Cuban rhumbas and mambos, along with salsas, the updated version of mambo.

Sunday, April 9

Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm ($??) Here’s a chance for an afternoon delight, so to speak. Walker is an original soul man who recorded for Goldwax Records out of Memphis back in the 60s, but he’s been our own treasure for decades now, delivering heartfelt soul music in his slightly raspy voice. He’s just been on another international tour, and was recently named winner of Two Blues Music Awards for 2016 – Comeback Artist of the Year, and New Recordings/Southern Soul, for his album If Nothing Ever Changes.

Spider John Koerner “Retirement” Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Folk legend Spider John Koerner is being honored with a “retirement” party by a bunch of mostly younger artists “who appreciate my work and wanted me to have a show with them,” according to Koerner. Those younger artists include The Cactus Blossoms, Lonesome Dan Case, Jack Klatt, Dave Babb, and Grant Johnson. Long time compatriots Willy Murphy and Tony Glover will also take part, as well as Chip Taylor Smith and Paul Strother. For 50 years, Koerner has explored the ranges of traditional American song, both as a solo artists and with a variety of partners, including Koerner, Ray, & Glover, and Willie Murphy. Along with his work with KRG, Koerner’s albums Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Been, from ’86, and Raised by Humans, from ’92 are classics of American folk music.

Monday, April 10

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Bros on Grand, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Fingers is a world-class finger-picking guitarist performing not-so-secretly under an alias. Get your fill of coffee and cool music.

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.


Choices, Choices, Choices. Music: 10.1 – 10.7

October 1, 2014

DSC00159.JPGThe leaves are changing as are the number of opportunities to get out and listen to music, with visiting jazz artists, a number of opportunities to dance, new chamber music and some honky-tonkin in a jazz club. Have fun. Music is good for the body and soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 1

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) I mentioned this group last week since they played on Tuesday night. Three of the pioneers of jazz rock are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings. Here’s a version of a song they did last night.

Anthony Cox Presents Downrange Telemetrics @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A bit more than jazz, this is a multimedia/poetry/musical presentation, featuring poet Becca Barniskis, visual artist Lori Brink, guitarist Nick Jaffe, and Cox. This may seem an odd pairing, but really, jazz musicians and poets have been sharing stages since the 1950s or earlier.

Thursday, October 2

Seru, Gillett, & Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another in the weekly series at Kyber Pass, this time featuring Davu Seru, percussion; Charles Gillett, lap guitar; and Elaine Evans, pocket trumpet.

Friday, October 3

Lee Ritenour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) After a career spanning 50 years, guitarist Ritenour has earned a Grammy as well as 19 nominations, played on over 3,000 recording sessions, for artists ranging from the Mamas and Papas to Sonny Rollins and Frank Sinatra, and was a founding member of Fourplay, one of the most successful groups in jazz.

The siblings at play

The siblings at play

An Evening with Chris & JT @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?/$20?) That’s brothers Chris & JT Bates, two of the finest musicians in town. Sweet 317 is an intimate space in Lowertown’s Northern Warehouse. They just received a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. Tonight, Chris on bass; and JT on drums, will be featured. For more information: info@sweet317.com

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kamau is the amazing drummer who has recorded and performed with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight his friends include: Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris guitar; and young Charlie Lincoln, bass.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10 Suggested Donation) The debut of a new series featuring combos from area colleges and universities. Tonight starts with combos from North Central University from Minneapolis.

Foreign Motion, Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release, and Stolyette @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) Foreign Motion and ALE both feature formidable guitarists. A Love Electric is a Mexico City-based trio led by Todd Clouser, who is originally from the Twin Cities. Stolyette is a Minneapolis duo with Russian vocals, a bass, and tape loops, shifters and other electronic musicianship. The frets will be burning tonight. Here’s a video from Clouser and his group with a guest trombone player.

Saturday, October 4

The Illicit Sextet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Concert #2 in the Saturday Jazz at the Blackdog series. This time the Illicit Sextet will be garnering your attention. They play nothing but original compositions, with a line-up and sound that evokes the hard bop years and a freshness that’s true to the present.

Monday, October 6

Jake & Noah Baldwin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Though they share the same last name and both play trumpet, these Baldwin’s are not brothers. They are, however, very good musicians, and when you add the drums and bass of Jazz Central, you have a hot quartet, indeed.

Ken Thomson’s Slow/Fast, w/Seru, Lewis, & Fratzke @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) It’s another evening of jazz on the edge at Icehouse. Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast are a NYC band touring around the very recent release of its second album, Settle. The group consists of Thomson, alto sax, bass clarinet, and compositions; Nir Felder, guitar; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Adam Armstrong, bass; and drummer Fred Kennedy. Their set will be followed by a performance from Daru Seru, percussion; Mike Lewis, sax; and Erik Fratzke, bass. Here’s an excerpt of a piece from Thomson.

Tuesday, October 7

davu-seru-dean-mcgrawMagraw & Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw, guitar; and Davu Seru, percussion get together on the first Tuesday of every month to deepen their musical communication and share it with appreciative audiences.

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 1

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are extraordinary players on both six and twelve string guitars. Thorne also plays mandolin. When they play, they invite you into their lives with both stories and song. Both are seasoned veterans of many bands, and together, of many festivals. They’ll be joined by a special guest, fiddler Randy Sabien. Tune in, and if you like them, check them out in person.

Neo-American Primitive Guitar Showcase @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Tip)  Folks, Blues, & Beyond, from guitarists Kyle Fosburgh, Steve Palmer, Matt Helgeson, and Nic Garcia. More guitar music for a Wednesday night.

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) This is the debut of a monthly residency for Koskinen  who writes wry songs with a keen viewpoint on American life. He’s a heckuva guitar player as well.

Thursday, October 2

The Swamp Poppas @The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Get out your dancing shoes and enjoy the  Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco sound of the Poppas – an unassuming band with a mission to get you out on the dance floor. Always a treat.

Friday, October 3

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) Tonight, the All-Stars feature Jason Lockwood, Dan Schwalbe, Victor Span, Keith Boyles, and Tim Wick. Harpist Harold has brought together a stellar group of musicians, featuring Kentucky guitarist Jason Lockwood, who has played at the International Blues Competition 16 years in a row. It’s an early show, so you can catch a set or two and still be home in time to get a good night’s sleep or watch some late night TV.

Big George Jackson CD Release @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) His deep voice will shake the rafters, while bandmates Jeremy Johnson and Phil Schmid will lay down a blues groove you won’t easily forget. Here’s a video from a few years back.

The Erickson’s Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18/$15 Advance) Sisters Bethany Balentini and Jenny Kapernick are releasing their fourth album, Bring Me Home. They use their sisterly harmonies to great effect, whether singing rootsy songs of sorrow, as in the past, or the playful and slightly electro/pop of My Love, the first single from the new album. Opening is BB Gun (Al Church, Neal Pervix, and Jeremy Hanson)

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 3,4,5

Zeitgeist Plays New Discoveries and Old Favorites @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Friday ($10), 7:30pm Saturday ($20, including post-concert reception), 2pm Sunday ($10)  The contemporary chamber music ensemble will feature the world premier of From Afar, the Dragon Calls, by Minnesota Composer Jeff Lambert, as well as other new works and a couple of favorites, not to forget the debut of the ensemble’s newest member, pianist Nicola Melville. For a complete rundown of the program, visit:  http://www.zeitgeistnewmusic.org/new-discoveries-old-favorites.php

Saturday, October 4

Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) R&B and funk from a ten-piece band with a number of singers. This is a band to see when you want to dance to songs you know as well as a few new ones.

Sunday, October 5

Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) – It’s the Blues Society’s annual event. Jimi “Prime time” Smith will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he’ll perform with The Groove Merchants, Also on hand will be the Jeremy Johnson Blues Band (Jeremy is an honoree), Big George Jackson, The Butanes, and the Don King Blues Band.

Nachito Herrera & His Cuban Orchestra @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($23 – $55) Since his arrival in Minnesota about 12 years ago, Cuban born pianist Nachito Herrera has been wowing audiences both here and around the world, whether playing Latin Jazz, traditional Cuban music, or with classical symphonies. Now, he’s put together a concert featuring members of the Youth Symphony, four singers from Cuba, and a host of others. Something like 70 or 80 musicians will be on stage. Plus, there will be a dance floor for folks inspired by Cuban son, cha cha chas, and other Latin rhythms. I interviewed Nachito on my show this past Saturday, which you can hear at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts soon after the show begins.

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Guitarist Brown is an American original – a throwback to the days when country music burned with the energy of high octane gas running through a four barrel carburetor, especially when he sings songs like Highway Patrol, and Hang Up and Drive. He invented the guit-steel guitar, which he places on a small stand, letting him switch between lap steel and lead guitar with ease. Expect some honky-tonk and western swing, with a bit of blues, Tex-Mex, and surf rock thrown in for good measure. He won the CMA Country Music Video of the Year award in 1996 for his song, “My Wife Thinks You’re Dead.” Here’s a live version of that song.

Tuesday, October 7

Fat Chance Jug Band – Jug Band Jam @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) Here’s the ticket when you are longing for some simple music from mostly home-made instruments. Unpretentious music for an unpretentious bar.

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) KFAI deejays Sara Oxton and Tarik Thonton will take turns spinning R&B, Soul, & Funk vinyl for your listening pleasure while sampling the beers of Harriet Brewing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 7,8

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) In 1979, British folk rocker Stewart was all over the airwaves with the million selling Year of the Cat and Time Passages. Some 20 odd albums later, he’s touring with musical partner Dave Nachmanoff, rather than the full band of those years. He’ll be doing acoustic versions of many of his old songs as well as some newer numbers. Here they are.

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.


2.19 – 2.24

February 19, 2014
Most musicians are playing indoors these days

Most musicians play indoors these days

After the sub-zero temperatures of the last few weeks, it’s good to be heading into a spell of above freezing. All the easier for you to shuck off cabin fever and get out. We’ve got jazz at a Best Steak House, a Grammy winning trumpeter, some New Music, and worldbeats, not to forget some rocking’ R&B and old timey music. Get out and enjoy yourself. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, February 19

Todd Harper honors this family

Todd Harper honors this family

Medium Rare: Music for the Best Steak House @ Best Steak House, 860 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 5-7:30pm (Free) Somehow I had this listed for this past Saturday. Never fear, however, as you still have time to hear Pianist/composer Todd Harper, joined by bassist Andrew Foreman, and presenting an evening of dinner music, including the premiere of a Harper composition dedicated to the owners of the Steak House – the Hatzistamoulos Family.

Pete Whitman’s Mississippi @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm (Donation). Pete teaches at MacNally Smith, heads up the Pete Whitman X-Tet, and can be found playing sax in a number of different aggregations. He’s an always interesting soloist, whether on ballads or barn-burners. Tonight he brings his group Mississippi to Jazz Central: Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Friday, February 21

The Bridge @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:30pm Tonight, the Bridge Series features Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brian Courage, bass; and Lars Larson, drums.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Baritone saxophonist Washington is a regular performer at the Black Dog. Tonight he’ll bring in Eric Jacobsen, sousaphone; Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion. It’s an adventurous group of musicians, all of whom are well versed in free improvisation.

Friday, Saturday, February 21, 22

Playing It Close to Home @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30 (Friday – $10, Saturday – $20) Zeitgeist, the contemporary music ensemble, will be presenting winning songs from their annual Eric Stokes Songwriting contest, as well as compositions and performances by vocalist Viv Cunningham and saxophonist Nathan Hanson. Cunningham is a British vocalist, composer, and sound artist who has worked internationally and recently called Minnesota home for some years. Hanson has worked with folks like Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Tayor, and Chris Potter. He’s known in the Twin Cities as part of the Fantastic Merlins, and has been praised in the music press of France. Saturday’s performance is a fund-raiser, with post-performance wine, hors d’ oeuvres and conversation with Hanson and Cunningham.

Saturday, February 22

JonPemberton-1576thJon Pemberton Trio @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jon is a triple threat: trumpet, piano, and composition, with a number of talented friends in the jazz community. Don’t know who he’ll have along tonight, though he often plays with Jimmy Wallace. The LPB can be noisy, since people seem to be their for dinner and visiting with each other, so try to get a table close to the band if going for supper.

Arne Fogel & Maude Hixson Sing Movie Songs: The Winners & Losers @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($25) Arne and Maude have an easy way on stage. Heck they’ve been doing shows together for a number of years. Tonight they celebrate Hollywood’s favorite songs – both the winners and losers of songs associated with the golden age of cinema.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) Ace trumpeter Kenny had a 5 year residency at the Artists’ Quarter, and is a co-founder of the Illicit Sextet, which released their second album last year. His Group 47 is composed of young turks from the area, but this Quartet features some mighty players with pedigrees. He’ll be joined by Billy Peterson, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and JT Bates, on drums.

Celebrating Seven Healthy  Years

Celebrating Seven Healthy Years

Patty Peterson & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Patty is making her debut at the Icehouse tonight, and it’s a very special occasion – her 7th Annual Celebrate Life Concert, to commemorate seven years since her open heart surgery. She’ll have Donnie La Marca, Paul Peterson, Bobby Vandell, and Billy Franze along for the celebration. The $12 is for Music Only. A three course meal is available for $35, with a supplemental wine pairing for $15. As noted on my page for Spinning Vinyl Around Town, I’ll be deejaying for the “afterparty” at 11pm (no cover).

Saturday, Sunday, February 22, 23

Girl Talk @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) Charmin Michelle, Pippi Ardennia, and a band of resident All-Stars: Laura Caviani (piano), Joan Griffith (bass), Jendeen Forberg (drums) and Kathy Jensen (saxophone).

Monday, Tuesday, February 24, 25

Terence Blanchard @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Blanchard is originally from New Orleans, and was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (he replaced, and was recommended by, Wynton Marsalis). He’s written film scores, including the Grammy winning A Tale of God’s Will, an especially moving soundtrack for Spike Lee’s documentary about the affects of Hurricane Katrina. He’s won four other Grammys and has recently written an opera. All of which is a way of saying he’s extremely talented trumpeter and composer. Expect music of the highest order. Here he is with his quintet at Blues Alley in D.C.

Tuesday, February 25

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Here’s the first time that the AMO will be at the Amsterdam. Given that the crowds were growing at their monthly shows before the AQ closed, the larger venue may prove to be apt for the group. Meckler is a talented composer and arranger, and he’s managed to gather many exciting young players for this group. Plus there’s no cover! Here’s one of their songs.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 19

Maria de Barros @ The Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23)  The Ordway has been imaginative in bringing world music to downtown Saint Paul, as shown in their choice of Cape Verdean singer Maria de Barros. De Barros can’t help but be influenced by Cesaria Evora, but she also integrates sounds from other parts of the world into her performance. You’ll hear influences from Brazil, Africa, the Caribbean, France and Spain in her music. Opening is resident musicians Havana Hi-Fi, with the dance-centric sounds of old Cuba. Here she is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNXxzLDJHDc&feature=player_embedded

Sue Orfield Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7 pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Orfield is a Wisconsin saxophonist who leads her own quartet in clubs in around the cheese state. She often plays with the Butanes Soul Revue, and was occasionally featured at the Artists’ Quarter. Orfield is an exciting and inventive player, with a gutsy tone. She’ll be on Harold’s House Party (90.3 or 106.7FM) during the 5 o’clock hour and then head over to the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis to play from 7pm – 9pm.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Nyes’ Polonais Room, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No cover) A couple of years ago a national men’s magazine named Nye’s as the best bar in America. And those folks hadn’t even heard Doug and the Getaways. They play music that will transport you to the bad ol’ days of the 1930s.

Wednesday, Thursday, February 19, 20

Sharon Isbin, Stanley Jordan, & Romero Lubambo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $55, $45) Isbin is a three-time Grammy winning classical guitarist, Jordan is a guitar virtuoso who introduced a new way of playing back in the 80s, and Lubambo is a Brazilian guitarist. This promises to be a unique and exciting show.

Thursday, February 20

Real-Phonic Radio Hour Presents Erik Koskinen and the Chastity Brown Duo @ James J. Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Koskinen is the music director for the Real-Phonic Radio Hour and perhaps the best country songwriter in the area. Not only that he’s a crack guitarist, attested to by his work for Trampled by Turtles, Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers and a number of other acts. Chastity Brown crosses and mixes genres with ease – folk, blues, gospel, jazz, country – they’re all in her music, which is being increasingly recognized. NOTE: Because of the weather, this has been postponed until Saturday, February 22.

Friday, February 21

The New Album

The New Album

Willie Walker & Paul Metsa CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($10) Walker is an original soul man, who recorded for Goldwax back in the day, but has been living in the Twin Cities for at least 30 years. His version of You Send Me still sends thrills up my spine. Though Walker has recorded a couple of CDs under his own name as well as a couple with the Butanes, he still remains one of the best kept secrets in town, which is a shame. Metsa is an Iron Ranger who’s been performing in the Twin Cities and around the country for 30 years, winning seven Minnesota Music awards in the process. The two have been performing together for the last couple of years, creating soulful sounds in small bars, cafes, and on the Dakota stage. They’re celebrating the release of Live on Highway 55, an intimate, moving recording where Paul’s guitar provides the right support for Willie’s slightly raspy, always soulful voice.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A fun cover band, reprising the hits of the late 60s and early 70s in an unpretentious bar where both the drinkin’ and the dancin’ are easy.

Saturday, February 22

Fifth Annual Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Swamp Pop is that genre of music that’s popular in the Cajun areas of the south. It combines the classic R&B of New Orleans with C&W, early rock n’ roll, and French influences. Think of the music of Cookie & the Cupcakes, Jimmy Clanton, and Rod Bernard. Tonight’s performers incljude Becky Thompson, Dan Newton, Mister Dan Rowles, Rich Lewis, Jon Rodine, Lucinda Plaisance, and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Backed by the Swamp Poppas – Scott Yoho, Paul Gagner, Max Ray, Joe Luoma, Steve Sandberg, Eric Mohring, Gary Powell, Ted Klotz, and Karl Smelker. This is a benefit for Second Harvest Heartland.

Mikkel, JIllian, and Adam

Mikkel, JIllian, and Adam

Corpse Reviver @ the Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Mikkel Beckman, Jillian Rae, and Adam Kiesling bring their homage to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music to the cozy, confines of the Bayport BBQ, which features a mouth-watering buffet before each show. The Bayport is a cash-only Deep Blues Juke Joint with excellent ‘Que.

Sunday, February 23

The Hula Peppers @ The Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 2pm – 5pm  (No Cover) Dan Newton brings another of his many groups to the Gnome to play 20s and 30s dance music and Hawaiian tunes in the upstairs room at the Gnome. Flowered shirts are optional. Here’s what they sound like.

The Ericksons @ The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Close-knit sisterly harmonies from the Ericksons, in the best place in town to escape winter – the sunken garden of the conservatory at Como Park & Zoo. Wine and beer is available for purchase.

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


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