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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 2017

Miss Myra Duo

December 8 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Myra Burnette - promo

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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$10

Debbie Duncan

December 8 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
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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 Press

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Scott Graves

December 9 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Scott Graves BOTC in wisconsin 2012

 

Growing up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota, Scott first learned to pick Hank Williams songs on an old flat-top guitar his parents got him for his 10th birthday. Reading the credits and liner notes to all the Rolling Stones, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and other British invasion bands of the day led him to the old blues masters. Johnny Winter was another important early influence and link to other bluesmen.

Scott continues to listen to a lot of the late great blues players–Albert Collins, Albert King, Freddie King–along with some more recent favorites like Snooks Eaglin, John Mooney and Chris Cain.

Scott played with a number of bands around the Twin Cities and Rochester area in the 1970s and 80s. He had a gig playing keyboards with Alexander O’Neal and played with Percy Strothers before being recruited by Big Walter Smith  for his Groove Merchants band in 1991. Scott was Walter’s lead guitarist and Musical Director until Smith’s death in 2012.

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$10

Sarah Morris Holiday Show

December 9 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Small New Corina

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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Chris Lomheim

December 12 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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As a bandleader, composer, and sideman, Chris Lomheim is an integral part of the vibrant Twin Cities jazz scene.

“…unquestionably one of the finest piano trio recordings on the jazz landscape today.” – All About Jazz review of Chris’s latest recording, Timeline

As leader of the Chris Lomheim Trio he has produced 3 CD’s: And You’ve Been Waiting? (1994) featuring all original compositions,  The Bridge (2002) featuring a mix of originals and a handful of standards, and Timeline (2014) featuring all originals. Chris was nominated best pianist in the 1997 Minnesota Music Awards, and was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board “Artist Initiative” Grant for 2014.

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$6

Tony Balluff Big Three – Fats Waller Night

December 12 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tony&Dave

The Tony Balluff Big Three. The small band with a big sound! Clarinetist Tony Balluff and drummer Dave Michael of the Southside Aces are joined by pianist Mike Polad, a member of the legendary local jazz group, the Hall Brothers Jazz Band. If you’re wondering what to think, think Benny Goodman Trio by way of New Orleans.

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Kevin Gastonguay

December 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Kevin Gastonguay has a B.A. in music performance from McNally Smith College of Music.  For the past 8 years he has been very active in the Minneapolis music scene, performing nonstop with his own original groups and as a sideman for many of the top musicians in town. With a hunger to understand harmony and improvisation and a determination to master rhythm and feel, Kevin has become one of the most versatile and busiest keyboardists in the Twin Cities.

Kevin teaches at McNally Smith College of Music, Modern Day Music, and Minnesota Valley Conservatory of Music.

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$5

Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw

December 13 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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In a career spanning over 45 years, pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson has earned a world-wide reputation as a traditional jazz and ragtime master. He tours widely as a soloist or at the helm of any of his several ensembles, including his well-known Butch Thompson Trio, his eight-piece Jazz Originals band, the Butch Thompson Big Three, or his unique blues duo with fingerstyle guitarist Pat Donohue.

In 1974, he joined the staff as the house pianist of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. By 1980, the show was nationally syndicated, and the Butch Thompson Trio was the house band, a position the group held for the next six years.

In addition to extensive touring (he has traveled the world from Cairo to Tokyo) as a soloist and with his trio and 8-piece Jazz Originals Band, he finds time to write and teach. His writing has appeared in various magazines including Down Beat and The Mississippi Rag, and among his teaching credits are residencies at the American University in Cairo and the New England Conservatory of Music.

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DeanMagraw

Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw has fine-tuned his “Heavy Meadow” approach to music from years of performing and recording with some of the finest musicians in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year.

Dean has since produced myriad passionate albums, including his latest  release, Fire on the Nile (Red House Records), a duo collaboration with renowned percussionist, Eric Kamau Gravatt.

“Dean Magraw… so liquid, lyrical and effortless it’s like listening to a dancer.” -Steve Tibbetts

“Dean Magraw unveils soulful melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.” -Nick Lethert

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Joel Shapira

December 14 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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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.

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$8

Larry McDonough Group: Twisted Holidays

December 14 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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Are you tired of the same old holiday music? Do not worry! Twisted and odd holiday tunes from the CD “Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things” make up the first set, but as Andrea Canter noted, this is “not your mother’s holiday album.” Expect a mix of music from Bill Evans, Coltrane, Beethoven, Mr. McGoo, Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, Shakers, and the Middle East, along with uncommon meters, harmonies and rhythms. LMQ also will perform a new arrangement of “It’s Love, It’s Christmas,” a rarely performed piece written by jazz pianist Bill Evans, based on a copy of the original Evans’ manuscript given to Larry McDonough by Evans’ widow, Nenette Zazzara.

The second set will include material from LMQ’s other shows, with a mix of Tony Bennett, La Marseillaise, Spinal Tap, Brubeck, Sting, Clapton, Led Zeppelin and originals. Where else can you go for the holidays and get Bill Evans, Mr. McGoo, and Led Zeppelin? That would be nowhere!

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Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released eight CDs and DVDs as a leader, including “Simple Gifts,” which reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world. He also is a lawyer and law professor selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of “100 Who Made a Difference” over the 100-year history of the school. Larry directs pro bono legal services for the poor at Dorsey & Whitney.

 

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