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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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November 2018

$30 table / $25 bar

Richard Shindell

November 14 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York’s Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be. From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to his current release, Careless (September 2016), Shindell has explored the possibilities offered by this most elastic and variable of cultural confections: the song.

The path that led him to songwriting was both circuitous and direct. Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he spent his formative years learning the instrument – first acoustic, then electric. And he listened: Beatles, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Motown, Bowie, Hunter-Garcia, King-Goffin, Paul Simon, Bill Monroe, Rogers & Hammerstein. Their songs gave the impression of having always been there, so solid and self-evident were their melodies, hooks, grooves, and lyrics. Listening to WNEW or WLIR in 1970s NY felt like a kind of anamnesis. So it seemed completely out of the question to imagine that a song could be written – by anyone, anywhere, anytime, about absolutely anything. If he sang, it was just to sing along, or harmonise to the hymns in church.

Shindell continues to tour nationally in the United States, with the occasional forays into Canada, the UK, and Europe. Although known primarily as songwriter, Shindell takes a more holistic view of his career. Producer, writer, singer, guitarist, interpreter: it all adds up to a life in music.

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Atlantis Quartet Album Release

November 23 @ 9:00 pm - November 24 @ 12:00 am

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Atlantis Quartet has emerged as a leading voice in the Twin Cities’ burgeoning modern jazz scene since its inception in 2006. The group features four of Minnesota’s most exciting young jazz artists, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Pete Hennig. They have come together in this setting to create and explore fresh and original sounds in the heart of and on the edges of the jazz idiom. The ensemble’s blend of complexity and accessibility has proven a perfect fit for all listeners.

Though the group is primarily focused on new and original music, it has honored its influences with dynamic performances the at the Dakota Jazz Club of two classic albums in their entirety; John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in 2008 and Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters in 2009. Atlantis Quartet’s renditions were met with great praise from audiences and critics alike, invoking a handful of encore performances.

“What is abundantly clear is that each of the members of Atlantis Quartet are highly skilled musicians who have invested themselves heavily to develop their individual approaches…Together, they sound genuinely inspired… Atlantis Quartet is a versatile group of jazz musicians whose music evidences their understanding and appreciation of important jazz influences – influences that they have assimilated into their own individual and group creativity.” -Jazz Improv Magazine

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$35 table / $30 bar

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road: Celebrating the New Orleans Tricentennial

November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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Anchored in the musical vocabulary created by early Creole clarinetists such as Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, and Barney Bigard, Evan Christopher strives to extend the legacy of the New Orleans clarinet style. Charismatic and versatile, he was drawn to New Orleans from his native California in 1994 by the rich cultural landscape and music scene. Critics remarking on Christopher’s dynamic expressiveness and intimate approach have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music traditions of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” (THE OBSERVER, UK).

His original songs are the high point of acclaimed recordings including Delta Bound (Arbors, 2007) featuring pianist Dick Hyman, The Remembering Song (Arbors, 2010) featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, his clarinet feature on the Grammy-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Book One (2012) and his latest Clarinet Road CD, Bayou Chant & Other Textures (STR Digital, 2016). In July 2010, he had the honor to debut his Treat It Gentle Suite with the Minnesota Orchestra, which was the first concerto written for clarinet with band in the New Orleans style.

Christopher actively advocates for the cultural workforce and music education. He frequently tours with and records as a guest with forward-looking artists, while performances under his own name are often complemented by workshops and educational and community outreach. Occasional columns about the music scene and New Orleans culture for NolaVie.com, also evidence his passion for the city’s indigenous traditions.

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$35 table / $30 bar

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road: Celebrating the New Orleans Tricentennial

November 28 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

BUY TICKETS HERE >>

Anchored in the musical vocabulary created by early Creole clarinetists such as Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, and Barney Bigard, Evan Christopher strives to extend the legacy of the New Orleans clarinet style. Charismatic and versatile, he was drawn to New Orleans from his native California in 1994 by the rich cultural landscape and music scene. Critics remarking on Christopher’s dynamic expressiveness and intimate approach have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music traditions of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” (THE OBSERVER, UK).

His original songs are the high point of acclaimed recordings including Delta Bound (Arbors, 2007) featuring pianist Dick Hyman, The Remembering Song (Arbors, 2010) featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, his clarinet feature on the Grammy-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Book One (2012) and his latest Clarinet Road CD, Bayou Chant & Other Textures (STR Digital, 2016). In July 2010, he had the honor to debut his Treat It Gentle Suite with the Minnesota Orchestra, which was the first concerto written for clarinet with band in the New Orleans style.

Christopher actively advocates for the cultural workforce and music education. He frequently tours with and records as a guest with forward-looking artists, while performances under his own name are often complemented by workshops and educational and community outreach. Occasional columns about the music scene and New Orleans culture for NolaVie.com, also evidence his passion for the city’s indigenous traditions.

Find out more »

December 2018

$20 table / $15 bar

Matt Wilson and His Orchestra

December 20 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 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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