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Being a part of the music community in Minnesota is a gift to every artist, listener and participant.  The stage of Vieux Carré is rich with history and whispers of musicians past. Today the tradition continues with a varied schedule highlighting local talents in many different genres with a focus on jazz, soul, blues, and the magic of each.  Patrons and artists share the room to commune in the celebration of life and each other.

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December 2018

$7

Twin Cities Hot Club

December 12 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The Twin Cities Hot Club (TCHC) represents Minnesota in the burgeoning revival of gypsy jazz originally popularized by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France. They recreate not only the famous la pompe that distinguishes this romantic brand of acoustic jazz but also gypsy bossa nova, musette, bolero, and swing. TCHC perform this timeless deep-rooted music that is physical, alive and speaks directly to the heart.

TCHC formed in September of 2004 and have been sharing their expressive, “hot” style with audiences ever since. The group has been featured on KBEM Jazz 88.5fm, Minnesota Public Radio, and has received rave reviews in Vintage Guitar Magazine, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, the Twin Cities Jazz Society Newsletter and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Notable performances include: author Michael Dregni’s book release Django: the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend, Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Midwest Lindyfest, Minnesota Sur Seine with Dorado Schmitt, Minnesota State Fair and the Uptown Row Django Jazz Festival, to name a few.

“These guys swing hard at all times while never masking the emotional nuances and melodic tone. And it’s a treat to sit back and listen to, and watch, acoustic strings.” -Jazz Police

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$7

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners

December 13 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Listening to Miss Myra and The Moonshiners is like taking a swig of Tennessee’s finest moonshine; it’s smooth, with a kick. The Moonshiners deliver the sultriest mix of vintage jazz and barrelhouse blues and nothing but the highest proof tunes can satisfy Miss Myra’s soul.  She belts melodies hearkening back to the roots of America’s original art form, invoking the powerful vocals of Bessie Smith with the silkiness of Lil Green, while the talented instrumentalists in her band shine through with the perfect accompaniment.

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Rena Haus

December 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Singer/songwriter Rena Haus rolls folk music, blues, and jazz into unforgettable performances that are somehow always intimate no matter the venue. Her music is like the sound track of our common human experience, creating a personal connection with her audience. She draws listeners close with her unassuming talent and absolute sincerity, whether playing solo, in an acoustic duo with John Wilber, or with her trio consisting of Ed Pesche on electric guitar and brother Bob Haus on the fretless bass.

Rena left a very successful musical career in Phoenix to help save her family’s 1881 homestead farm. Minnesota music lovers have benefited greatly, for in addition to performing in many venues around the state, she’s been heard on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” and “Car Talk” (The Mechanic’s Tune) as well as radio stations KFAI, KUMD, and KVSC. She’s played with, or opened shows for, artists like Chico Chisum, Marc Cohn, Iris Dement, Alison Krauss, Spider John Koerner, Maria Muldaur, Loudon Wainright III, and at least a dozen other artists you’d recognize.

Like the late, great, Dave Ray said, “This chick can pick!”.

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$15

Ginger Commodore

December 14 @ 9:00 pm - December 15 @ 12:00 am

A member of the Midwest music scene for many years, Ginger is a regular visitor to the region’s finest stages. Classically trained, gospel influenced, and jazz inspired, Ginger’s musical foundation is a true amalgam of musical styles presented with her own unique delivery. A former member of Sounds of Blackness, Ginger has also been very active in the local theater scene.

Ginger’s early background was gospel, and she honed her skills in church and in the Grammy Award winning group the Sounds of Blackness. Then came Moore by Four, and years of singing the jazzy gospel infused vocal arrangements that gave the group an international audience. And now, all that talent and experience is brought into her own group, GCQ.

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Sarah Morris

December 15 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Elves are taking a sleigh ride ​to Vieux Carré for a sparkling night of everyone’s favorite ​holiday tunes.

​Sarah grew up in a house where Brenda Lee, Johnny Mathis, and Bing Crosby crooned through the family speakers all season long, and she brings that timeless sensibility to her holiday shows. With a voice both clear and lush, Sarah and her talented bandmates (Thomas Nordlund, Andrew Foreman, and Zach Schmidt​), will be Jingle-Bell-ing their way through Christmas classics both old and new. The evening is sure to leave you filled with holiday cheer!

With her soothing, yet captivating voice, Sarah Morris has established herself as one of the best kept secret singer/songwriting talents in the Twin Cities. With the release of “Ain’t Nothing Wrong,” Morris doesn’t plan on being so secret any longer.

Morris’ love for music originated from her parents record collection, with David Bowie, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra songs helping to shape her musical DNA. After graduating High School, she began to lay the groundwork for her musical career at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, as well as a move thereafter to Nashville, TN. Her time in Nashville helped instill a traditional songwriting sensibility that shines through in her music. In recent years, Morris has settled into life as a wife and mother, both of which have given a unique voice to her craft.

After releasing two albums in 2011 alone (Grateful Moon, Lonely or Free), Morris has been building a solid reputation with her honest and authentic songwriting and powerful performances. As a result, she has become a regular performer at prestigious clubs such as The Dakota, Aster Café, and Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis.

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$10

Erica West Band

December 15 @ 9:00 pm - December 16 @ 12:00 am

Erica West is strong, confident, and sultry right out of the box. Her striking looks and mesmerizing vocals make an immediate impression on the senses. In a uniquely captivating way, Erica brings a beautiful fusion of soulful, R&B, pop, jazz and blues inspired melodies to the microphone. But do not let her silky vocals fool you. Erica’s vocal style is both powerful and sultry influenced by female vocalists such as Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Sade, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Anita Baker, Sarah McLachlan, Lizz Wright, Goapele and Jill Scott.

Erica loves the true art of musicianship, lyrical content, beautiful melodies and music that demonstrates true emotional expression. With hypnotic phrasing, subtle shading, and a powerful range, she offers that emotional experience, holding you spellbound from the first note to the last. There’s a passion that vibrates off of her and raptures her audience. That makes it easier than ever to separate her from the rest.

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$8

Belle Amour Holiday Show

December 18 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Belle Amour is a world class jazz band that captures the essence of the era with a look and sound that connects the audience to the music in a fun and engaging way.  Belle Amour is comprised of classically trained professional musicians.  Members of Belle Amour have toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed artists.  Music performance is our way of communicating with the world around us.

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$7

Louis Armstrong Night! w/Southside Aces

December 19 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The only place in town to find a whole night of the music of Louis Armstrong! The Southside Aces Big Five plays King Oliver Louis. They play Hot Fives Louis. They play big band Louis. They play All Star Louis. All for seven lousy bucks!

The Southside Aces Big Five is:
Dan Eikmeier-trumpet
Tony Balluff-clarinet
Rick Carlson-piano
Dave Michael-drums
Josh Granowski-string bass

Southside Aces perform traditional New Orleans jazz. The band first began as the brainchild of Clarinetist Tony Balluff and Sousaphone player Erik Jacobson. Their whispers and rumors materialized in Tony’s foyer near Pillsbury and 27th in South Minneapolis, late August 2003. Since their first gig on a flatbed truck in Apple Valley, they’ve played weddings, festivals, clubs— “music furnished for all occasions.”

The Aces have self-produced and released five CDs: All Aboard!!, Bucktown Bounce, A Big Fine Thing, their Christmas album, Santaphone, and their latest, Second Thursday.

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$20 table / $15 bar

Matt Wilson and His Orchestra

December 20 @ 8:30 pm

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Matt Wilson – Voice, Guitar, Piano
Phala Tracy – Harp
Quillan Roe – Banjo
Jacques Wait – Electric Guitar, Bass

Warm like a place near the fire. Breezy like a grass-topped hill. Minneapolis singer and songwriter Matt Wilson presents his music on a featherbed of banjo rhythms and arpeggiating harp. The group’s sound is not hard to fall into, like a remembrance of some sunny Sunday forever ago, a stroll by Moon River, a moment near rustling reeds. Using tones mellow and grassy, Matt and his band spin out the best songs of Matt’s career, reaching back beyond his prog rock days as songwriter and lyricist with Trip Shakespeare, back to his first songwriting explorations of classic forms, country melodies, tear-jerking ballads. The group will also offer up Matt’s favorite songs from history, the big classic numbers he can’t help singing to himself, the soaring music of Roy Orbison and Umberto Bindi. The repertoire stretches forward in time as well to the songs Matt is developing now both on his own and with his Minneapolis-based rock band The Twilight Hours.

The band is configured like a woolen blanket pulled in four directions to catch the falling melodies. Beneath Matt’s smoky voice and acoustic guitar work we hear Minneapolis musicians Phala Tracy, Quillan Roe and Jacques Wait, an oddly beautiful mix of complementary characters, instruments, musical backgrounds.

Most striking to the eye and ear is the majestical harp mastery of Phala. A natural born lover of nonsense and whimsy, Phala composes songs and poems. But her towering gift is to render beautiful songs from almost any genre, from classical, to pop, to the ragtime music her father played on banjo. An inventive collaborator, she performs each year at The New Standards Holiday Show in Minneapolis, the stage where she first met Matt. The two went on to collaborate in a dramatic production, Black Beauty Theatrical, centered around Matt’s band, The Twilight Hours. Phala has since recorded and performed with Chris Lynch and the Dust of Suns Ensemble as well as on Jeremy Messersmith’s most recent album.

Quillan Roe is more than just a banjo playing groove machine. He is most well-known for his work with the Roe Family Singers which he heads up along with his wife Kim. In 2011, the Roe Family Singers won the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, which served as a springboard for the Roes to become full-time musicians. During the past decade that group has won a number of prestigious bluegrass awards and competitions. Quillan has been playing in bands for nearly three decades, with his first professional band, Accident Clearinghouse, launching in 1992.

Guitar and bass player Jacques Wait, a renowned music producer and engineer in Minneapolis, is one of the sublime musical threads that has connected much of Matt’s musical career. After Matt’s ten-year stint with Trip Shakespeare, he and Jacques became permanently intertwined, first in the solo music that Matt created in the late 90’s, and later as they joined together with legendary Minneapolis bass player John Munson to form a band The Twilight Hours. The niche Jacques has carved as music producer has been primarily in the area of punkish guitar bands with an overdriven edge such Pink Mink and The Soviettes. But over time Jacques’s guitar playing has wandered and wended toward something sweeter, tremulous rivers of mood and melody. Jacques work as a bass player has a lower public profile than his soaring guitar work, but he is equally as accomplished in the lower registers. Jacques work can be heard in his 70’s cover band Magnet and Steel, and of course in his collaborations with Matt in The Twilight Hours.

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Mumblin’ Drew

December 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Mumblin’ Drew grabs you by the ear and pulls you down a rabbit hole of traditional American music. He treks across the landscape from country-blues guitar and harmonica-driven old-time, to an eerie banjo number or a tin pan alley oddity. Countless hours of playing on street corners around the country has instilled a genuine approach into his performance. But no matter where he takes you, you won’t be guided astray.

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