People have a huge thirst for connection. How well a song or an experience stays with you can be as easy as answering the question, does this art have resonance, or not? If I were to put together a musically inspired compilation of this year’s wide sampling of recorded music that I’ve heard and the live music that I’ve experienced this year, it would include an amazing group of talented artists who continue to challenge themselves as they give us something creative and personal. As I surf the memories of my mind from this year I can’t help but start at the beginning. To kick off 2013 in spectacular fashion was Minneapolis native and Blue Note Records artist Jose James who performed music
from his album No Beginning No End. Continue Reading →
Fight the Freeze
With DJ Abilities, Carnage, Duenday, Cannaholics, Niles Miller, and King Fuvi. • Fri., Dec. 27, Doors open at 8 pm; music starts at 8:30 pm • Midwest artists unite to fight poverty and hunger — food and clothing donations will be accepted at the door. • Fine Line Music Café, 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis • Call 612-338-8100 or go to http://www.finelinemusic.com
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming president and working to rebuild the country’s once-segregated society. Featuring Idris Elba. Continue Reading →
Yesterday it was announced on Minnesota Public Radio that the Artists’ Quarter jazz club located in St. Paul is closing at the end of year—on New Year’s Eve to be exact. The owner and jazz drummer Kenny Horst cites a recent hike in rent as the main reason for the closing. The club is well-known as one of the last pure jazz clubs in the Upper Midwest. Its closing highlights a growing concern among jazz artists and jazz purists: a lack of opportunities to perform and enjoy real jazz. The AQ, as it is affectionately known by many of its fans, opened in 1977; the establishment closed in 1990, then reopened under Horst’s leadership in 1995. Continue Reading →
By Robin James
For one-night only on September 11 (sets at 7 & 9) at the Dakota, jazz fans are in for a rare treat with a performance featuring the United Trumpet Summit consisting of some of today’s most respected and celebrated modern trumpet players including Randy Brecker, Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr.
You may recall trumpeter Randy Brecker performed with the JazzMN orchestra not long ago, and Jeremy Pelt appeared at the Artists’ Quarter a few years back. It’s good to welcome them back to the Twin Cities in a whole new setting. Brecker is the brother of the late influential saxophonist Michael Brecker. The versatile musician is at home playing everything from jazz, and rock, to R&B. And like Pelt, Brecker also played with the Mingus Big Band. Continue Reading →
Sun., Sept. 1, 10 pm • Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742 or epicmpls.com • The Grammy Award winning rapper-songwriter, record producer and actress is touring in support of her fourth studio release Lip Lock – her first new release in over 10 years.
Minnesota State Fair
Through Sept. 2 • 1265 Snelling Ave N., St. Paul, 651-288-4400, www.mnstatefair.org • After you’re done visiting the Midway or the 100’s of animals on display in the barns, check out some of this year’s must-see acts: Sheila E, Aug., 29, Bandshell stage; Robert Randolf and the Family Band, Aug., 30 & 31, Bandshell stage and the Twin Cities’ own Chastity Brown, Sept. Continue Reading →
With the scent of fresh cut French fries and the sounds of salsa music in the air, I found a seat near the main stage at Mears Park to take in the music of Cyrus Chestnut’s trio at the 2013 Twin Cities Jazz Festival on Saturday, June 29. Chestnut and his crew were just warming up on stage, so my timing was good. Mears Park was packed with a rainbow assortment of people, many of whom sat intently in their fold-up lawn chairs. Some festival-goers, myself included, found a giant-size rock to sit on, which was draped with someone’s colorful blanket. Greeting the crowd, Cyrus said cheerfully, “It’s good to be here! Continue Reading →
As the year 2011 ends and 2012 begins, one word comes to mind: optimistic. Optimistic is how I feel. Kind of like the song “Optimistic,” sung by the Sounds of Blackness and written by Jimmy Jam for his mother. It’s one of my favorite songs. And I’ve told Jimmy so. Continue Reading →