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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

$6

Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw

November 20 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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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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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$7

Louis Armstrong Night! w/Southside Aces

November 21 @ 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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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22 @ 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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$6

Ariel Strasser Album Release

November 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Ariel Strasser is a singer, songwriter and pianist originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory’s musical theater program with an emphasis in songwriting, she frequently tours the country delivering soulful pop tunes reminiscent of Carole King, Sara Bareilles and Norah Jones. She comes from a family of musicians, so it is no surprise to see her pursuing music as well. Recorded at The Vault recording studio in Hoboken, NJ with producer Dan McLoughlin of The Push Stars, her debut album “Crooked Line” released to five star reviews in 2013. “Crooked Line” features Nate Tucker on drums and percussion, Max Judelson on upright bass, Adrianne Pope on violin and Chris Trapper, also of The Push Stars, on vocals. Ari’s newest release, “Motivation” features beloved New England locals Ken Budka, Steve Clements and Paul Ortolano and is produced by Nick Zampiello of New Alliance East.

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$15 table seating / $10 bar seating

Atlantis Quartet Album Release

November 23 @ 9:00 pm

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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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Scott Graves

November 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

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

Alex Rossi

November 24 @ 9:00 pm - November 25 @ 12:00 am

Hailing from Minneapolis, Alex Rossi is a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter who has been performing professionally for over 15 years. With strong roots in blues, soul and funk, Rossi has created his own unique and recognizable sound from his diverse musical background. His performances most often include a 3 – 5 piece band and a crowd that never leaves the dance floor.

Rossi formed and fronted his band Root City in 1998, beginning as a blues trio and developing into a full band including a horn section and a fellow Minneapolis beatboxer, Heatbox. The band has been a mainstay of the Minneapolis music scene for a over a decade, holding down its legendary Wednesday night house gig at Gluek’s, which will come to an end in September 2015. He is also a cast member and co-creater of the Rhythmic Circus.

In 2013, Alex Rossi’s songwriting was recognized when he was selected as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. He has shared the stage with notable artists including Chicago, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Lang, Eric Hutchinson, Jimmie Vaughan, Blues Traveler, Morris Day & The Time, The Funk Brothers, Susan Tedeschi, Los Lonely Boys, and many others.

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$35 table / $30 bar

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

November 27 @ 8:00 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

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 »
$10

Anna Stine

November 29 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Anna Stine is an indie folk artist creating music that ponders the trials and triumphs that make us most human. Her lyrics and melodies are driven by a soulful authenticity that invites audiences to connect to their own stories. Anna harmoniously blends together her love of honest folk songs and haunting jazz melodies, while drawing upon the influence of wild places and powerful female artists. Anna’s experiences as a music therapist have given her a unique understanding of the ways that music can enrapture and transform us, and she seeks to manifest this through her intentional presence and performance.

In her debut album Company of Now released October 2018, Anna delves into the delicate dance of being present in the midst of growth and discomfort. Through songs that speak to both suffering and self-acceptance, she encourages listeners to stand tall, breathe easy, and step from the ground they’re standing on. The lilting melodies and forthright lyrics evolved after leaving her home in Ohio and beginning a new life in Minnesota, where many solo trips to the North Shore and bike rides around the companion like lakes breathed life into the compositions. The music and message that blossomed from the process is one of acknowledgement and acceptance. Produced by Robert Bell, Company of Now is a recognition of what we leave behind when we embark on a new journey, and a celebration of all that we gain while being present during the inevitable ache that accompanies growth.

Anna performs on The Current’s Radio Heartland show

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