“Berets and Bongos” describes the Café Accordion experience. A loungy, eclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude. The heart of the Café Accordion repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their high level of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining concert act as well as a great dance band.
CAO is led by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, with Eric Mohring on mandolin, violin and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass and vocals, Robert Bell on guitar and vocals and Joe Steinger on percussion. CAO has been delighting audiences and dancers alike since 1995. They have appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series, the International Akkordeon Festival in Vienna, Austria, the Minnesota State Fair, as well as festivals, theaters and dance halls across the United States.Find out more »
Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.” Based out of Minneapolis, he tours as a soloist, leads the world beat-driven ensemble FireFlyForest, performs with the chamber-jazz ensemble Lulu’s Playground (accordion, trumpet, guitar and cello), and works as a free-lance producer, composer and instrumentalist for countless shows with vocalists and ensembles doing jazz, klezmer, sacred music, Americana, classical, rock and Latin American music.
Through his authentic and vulnerable expression, Steven aims to be a musical vehicle to spark inspiration, compassionate connection, and facilitate community & healing.Find out more »
Vieux Carré is the exciting new venue for the Confused Brothers jazz/blues jam! Whether you want to try the tune you’ve been working on in a live setting, or just want to hang out to see what happens, this is a fun, casual way to do it. The house trio of Luke Hofland (guitar), Chad Hofland (bass), and Lucas Geraci (drums) will back up the brightest talents in town. Every night from 10:00 to 11:00 will be the featured artist for the week, giving us a wider glimpse into their sound. Show up early and sign up at the door!Find out more »
Patrick Harison is a young American button accordionist adept in a wide variety of settings and genres. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN performing in a diverse array of projects including Patty and The Buttons, Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers, The Cactus Blossoms, Eisner’s Klezmorim and many others. Patrick is also active as an orchestral soloist playing both classical and pops programs with top orchestras across the United States under the baton of luminaries such as Doc Severinsen and Sarah Hicks. When not performing, he is an in demand composer, session musician, educator and arranger.Find out more »
Joyann Parker has been a must-see addition to the Indie Blues music scene since 2013, and has performed for thousands at major venues and festivals across the country. In 2015, Joyann and her band were the winner of the International Blues Challenge for the state of Minnesota. The album “On the Rocks” has been nominated for an Independent Blues Music Award for Best New Album and was also named 2016’s Best Self-Produced CD by the Minnesota Blues Society.
An accomplished singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter, Joyann is frequently associated with passion, power and soul. She sings from the gut with an authenticity seldom found in today’s vocalists. Her vocal prowess and control allow her to move freely from one genre to another, from Patsy Cline to Etta James and right over to Janis Joplin with the greatest of ease.
Joyann is an endorsed Heritage Guitars artist, and is currently performing and booking shows in the Midwest and planning a winter tour along with writing for the next album.Find out more »
Joel Shapira is a top performing classical and jazz guitarist based in the Twin Cities. His educational background includes studies with some of the world’s greatest players and teachers including jazz legends Joe Pass, Tal Farlow and Gene Bertoncini, as well as master classical instructor Alan Johnston. A native of St. Paul, Joel attended Berklee School of Music in Boston and The Mannes School of Music in New York City where he lived, performed and taught for eight years.Find out more »
Bryan Nichols is a Minneapolis-based pianist and composer, working primarily in jazz and improvised music. He returned to the Twin Cities in 2005 after four busy years in Chicago where he played with jazz heavyweights like Nicole Mitchell, Ernest Dawkins, Von Freeman and Hamid Drake. Since returning to Minneapolis, he leads and composes for his own trio, his quintet and his large group, We Are Many. He also plays regularly with Gang Font, Kelly Rossum Quartet, James Buckley Trio, and Zacc Harris Quartet, in addition to being an in-demand freelancer. He teaches jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and he was also recently named artistic director of Jazz is NOW!, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit supporting regional music and composers.Find out more »
Jon Pemberton is a Minneapolis/St. Paul based jazz musician, enjoying an active career as trumpeter, pianist, teacher and composer. Jon was born in the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota where his interest in music was evident at an early age.
Jon began a career in private teaching (brass and piano) which lasts to this day. He has taught thousands of students, many of whom perform in the area’s top youth orchestras, and some of whom have gone on to their own professional careers. Jon also began his performance career after graduating from college. In these years he focused on the trumpet, landing sideman gigs with many of the area’s top bands and musicians. In addition, Jon has formed his own jazz quintets, The PemberTones and Tribute to Lee Morgan.Find out more »
Debbie Duncan may be considered the upper Midwest’s “best-kept-musical secret,” but she has become a local legend and treasure in her home of Minneapolis. Her personality, vitality, and versatility all contribute to that fact. She is a terrific entertainer, and this is certainly part of her appeal.
The Twin Cities’ “First Lady of Song” as she is so often referred to by media people, club owners, and dj’s, is a stunning and versatile vocalist who captivates audiences and jazz musicians. Minneapolis Star Tribune reports “She’s superb on funky upbeat workouts, tender ballads and all kinds of jazz numbers; she energizes the ordinary and puts her stamp on just about everything she does.”
“Duncan’s a terrific entertainer… But more than that, she’s a superb singer – probably the finest in an area that boasts some excellent female vocalists… She showed just how good she is… when she tackled ballads, bebop, blues to some scat choruses reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan and finally to a concluding soul shot.. She sang with abandon, yet with control which most singers never learn.” -Bob Protzman, St Paul Pioneer PressFind out more »
Harmonica whiz Harold Tremblay started playing harmonica in high school. Upon moving to Minnesota, he hooked up with the great Twin Cities blues player Curtis Blake (Sonny Rodgers Harp player on his Handy Award winning “Big Leg Woman”) to hone his harp chops.
Harold founded Cool Disposition with players who have backed up the best- Mojo Buford, Baby Doo Caston, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Rodgers and many of the touring greats. Cool Disposition competed at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Harold returned to the IBC in 2011 in the Solo Duo category with Jeff Ray.
Tremblay always has several projects going on. This All-Star revue will feature some of the best blues players in the Twin Cities.
Harold hosts a blues/roots radio show at KFAI Radio. “Harold’s House Party” airs Wednesdays from 4-6pm.Find out more »