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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August 2018


Katy Vernon Band

August 11 @ 9:00 pm - August 12 @ 12:00 am

“One of the Twin Cities’ most beloved folky singer/songwriters.” – Star Tribune

Born and raised in London, UK, Katy now calls Minnesota home. She has written songs for as long as she can remember and is always happiest when she’s singing, even when dealing with some pretty tough challenges. Katy’s debut solo release was ‘Before I Forget’. This was both a tribute to her parents, whom she lost as a teen, but also an embrace of her new solo direction after discovering the ukulele and the songwriting it inspired.

In a deliberate effort to use her writing to move beyond the grief and sadness of her earlier work Katy wrote the song ‘Pearl’ which she released as a single prior to this full length release. Each song on ‘Present’ is an exploration of the effort to embrace the here and now. Exploring the realities of life, the good and the bad, without being numbed or sugar coated.

Katy Vernon has also used her enthusiasm and knowledge of the local ukulele scene to organize and perform at her successful Annual Uke Fest Concert, now expanded to a two night celebration and fundraiser benefitting Arc GTC. Katy has been featured on TPT’s Almanac, WCCO’s Women Who Rock, The Current, KFAI, and more.  In addition to clubs and festivals she has performed at venues including The Guthrie, The Cowles Center with the James Sewell Ballet, and even the Fitzgerald Theater with Garrison Keillor!

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Shifting Paradigm Records Residency: Atlantis Quartet

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

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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Acadian Heritage Event

August 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

“Scattered to the Winds” – The Acadian Deportations, 1755 – 1764 A French-American Heritage Foundation Heritage Event Celebrating National Acadian Day in Canada Presentation at 7pm by Dr. Marty Guidry Dr. Marty Guidry is a “Cajun” from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who will talk on the Acadian deportation of 1755, with the reasons for the deportation, why they deported to the Atlantic seaboard and to France and England, and then into the actual phases of the deportation. He will give his…

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New Riverside Ramblers

August 15 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The New Riverside Ramblers band brings high-energy Cajun dance music from the prairies and bayous of south Louisiana up the Mississippi River to the Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota area. The band’s compelling version of Cajun French music blends many influences from different south Louisiana communities, and includes two-steps, waltzes and blues. The members of the band have been immersed in Cajun music for many years. They have studied and performed with Cajun music greats such as Dewey Balfa, Tracy Schwarz, Steve Riley, Marc & Ann Savoy, DL Menard, Eddie LeJeune, Calvin Carriere, Lionel Leleux, and others.

The New Riverside Ramblers have been playing together for over 25 years for dances, festivals, parties, and other special events. Although the band usually performs as a 5-piece with bass and percussion, they also perform as an acoustic trio with Cajun accordion, fiddle, rhythm guitar, and French vocals.

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Mae Simpson Band

August 16 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, Mae Simpson spent her formative years knowing that there were plans to do bigger things in life. Mae set out from the South at a young age and began her musical career in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 21 Mae headed north to Minneapolis.

By November of 2017, Mae joined her vocal and guitar talents with Jorgen Wadkins on guitar and Ricardo Romero on percussion. Influenced by blues, soul, funk and folk, the trio quickly realized their collaborative efforts had a sound worth pursuing. The band quickly added Keaton Judy on saxophone, Paul Pederson on trumpet, Dave Kellermann on bass and drummer Scott Thomson.

Whether the venue is small and intimate, or raucous and roaring, the band members’ contagious  connection draws the audience into each note.

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Debbie Duncan

August 17 @ 9:00 pm - August 18 @ 12:00 am

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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Jeff Ray/Hurricane Harold & the Altered Stakes

August 18 @ 9:00 pm - August 19 @ 12:00 am

Musicians from the Midwest have a knack for reinventing tradition. Jeff Ray is no exception. Go to any one of his performances and you’ll hear his fans say the same thing, “his music sounds old and new at the same time”.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Ray left home at the age of 17 to cut his teeth in Memphis. It was through those travels that he developed his unmistakable “East-meets-West” bluesy Americana sound.

Joining Jeff and Harold will be MN Blues Hall of Famer Donald ” Hye Pockets” Robertson (Luther Allison, Willie Murphy, RAMM) on percussive hand drum and Josh Granowski, an in demand bass player who covers many genres excellently.

Musicians from the Midwest have a knack for reinventing tradition. Jeff Ray is no exception. Go to any one of his performances and you’ll hear his fans say the same thing, “his music sounds old and new at the same time.” Born and raised in Minnesota, Ray left home at the age of 17 to cut his teeth in Memphis. It was through those travels that he developed his unmistakable “East-meets-West” bluesy Americana sound.

Watch closely and you’ll see Jeff Ray’s thumb keep the bass note thumping while he glides a glass slide seamlessly across the fret board. At the same time, his foot drives a heavy backbeat on a homemade portable front porch while an electronic tanpura drones at his side.

Jeff Ray and his lineup of guest musicians have been featured at a number of high-profile venues, including the Taste of Minnesota, the Porcupine Mountains Festival, Deep Blues Festival, Highland Fest, Acoustic Sounds Café (NPR), and Radio Heartland (NPR), to name a few. He has shared stages with Chris Smither, Justin Townes Earle, Indigenous, Spider John Koerner, Earl Greyhound, the Black Diamond Heavies, Pat Donohue, Retribution Gospel Choir, Dawes, Charlie Parr, James Hunter, Marcia Ball, and many more.

In 2009, Ray won second place in the Spotlight Songwriter Competition in Minneapolis, MN and in 2010, Jeff Ray and Harold Tremblay (harmonica) won first place in the Greater Twin Cities Blues Society’s ‘Road to Memphis’ competition. They were selected to represent Minnesota at the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

“a quality that could only come by blending the birthplaces of Bob Dylan and the delta blues.”
– Des Moines Register

“The clarity and precision of Ray’s bottleneck playing, as it swoops and dives through his vocal lines, is so well-honed and has such an alluringly liquid quality that it puts him in a league with the best on the planet. Folks such as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Bob Brozman have nothing on this young virtuoso.” – Duluth News Tribune

“Ray’s honeyed vocals and deft slide guitar stylings offer blues fare more contemplative than gritty, with a vibe that’s equally indebted to Ravi Shankar, Nick Drake, and Greg Brown. Simply lovely.” –

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Musicians from the Midwest have a knack for reinventing tradition. Jeff Ray is no exception. Go to any one of his performances and you’ll hear his fans say the same thing, “his music sounds old and new at the same time”.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Ray left home at the age of 17 to cut his teeth in Memphis. It was through those travels that he developed his unmistakable “East-meets-West” bluesy Americana sound.

Joining Jeff and Harold will be MN Blues Hall of Famer Donald ” Hye Pockets” Robertson (Luther Allison, Willie Murphy, RAMM) on percussive hand drum and Josh Granowski, an in demand bass player who covers many genres excellently.

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.

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Shifting Paradigm Records Residency: Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band

August 21 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Cory Healey, drums
Brandon Wozniak, saxophone
Jake Baldwin, trumpet
Zacc Harris, guitar
Erik Fratzke, bass

Since his arrival in the Twin Cities in 2013, Cory Healey has been a regular on many stages in the Twin Cities. Hear Healey originals and re-imagined standards here and on Cory’s new recording, released on Shifting Paradigm Records.

Cory Healey has over ten years of experience as a professional music educator and his unique skill set as a percussionist and drum set player has lead to performance opportunities in a wide range of genres. He has worked with students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds and has devised multiple curriculums that provide his students with the foundation they need to find their own voice on the drum set. Topics include technique, reading, independence, music theory, transcription, knowledge of contemporary styles, as well as creative approaches to soloing and improvisation.

Some of the fine institutions Healey has taught at include the University of Northern Iowa, the Choir Academy Charter School of Chicago, Independence High School in Independence Iowa, The Music Room in Palatine Illinois, and His Brothers Music in Aurora Illinois. He has also worked as a guest clinician for the Jazz Educators Network and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Healey has a Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Northern Illinois University.

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Louis Armstrong Night! w/Southside Aces

August 22 @ 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 six 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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Color Me Kindly

August 23 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Color Me Kindly is a collective presenting R&B… soul… funk… jazz… and everything in between. Featuring original songs, and stunning arrangements of some of the best music ever released. We recently had Ian Young and Haylee D at the Brave New Media studio. Listen to the podcast and recordings before heading to the show:

Color Me Kindly:
Ian Young: Bass
Haylee Donnelson: Vocals
Caitlynn Daniels: Vocals
Javier Santiago: Keys
Danny Solano: Guitar
Theo “Spiffy” Harris: Drums

Ian Young is a freelance bassist from the Twin Cities. The son of internationally renowned bassist Jay Young, he grew up among some of the best in the business and found a love for music at a young age. He started playing at age 8, and by 12 he was subbing for his dad on corporate gigs, in the pit at various theaters, and anywhere else he could play. Since then he’s been on stage locally, and nationally with Just.Live, Hustle Rose, Ashley Gold, The New Congress, The Devine Collection, 1017, MPLS, Jay Young and The Lyric Factory, Desdamona, Mark Joseph, and more; and has shared concert billings with Wyclef JeanSolange Knowles, Mint Condition, The Sugarhill Gang and Brett Michaels, among many others. Ian attended McNally College of Music, studying Music Performance.

Haylee Donnelson is the vocalist for Saint Paul soul and blues super-group Steve Sullivan and The Factory, the alt-country duo Bumblebee Whiskey, and the new Color Me Kindly. She’s shared the stage with other groups in town such as Jay Young and The Lyric Factory, Solomon Sessions, Rock with You, and is an alumni of the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble directed by Jennifer Parker. After touring Europe with Minnesota’s Ambassadors of Music Choir, Haylee abandoned the Iron Range to pursue music full time in the Twin Cities and has been welcomed with open arms. Collaborating with a variety of musicians has given her a versatile approach to her artistry.

Aside from performing and writing, she is currently the Vice President of Twin Cities Catalyst Music, a nonprofit and performance venue that creates opportunities for music and young people. When she isn’t recording and touring, she enjoys working at Varsity Theatre. To keep in touch, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @hayleedeemusic!

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