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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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July 2018

$12

Wee Willie Walker

July 28 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm

One of the great soul and blues singers in the Twin Cities, Willie Walker has lent his sweet tenor voice to a number of high-profile projects, yet still remains one of the region’s best kept secrets.

Walker’s music comes from a different time, a different place and a different point of view. He’s one of the few vocalists from the golden age of soul that is still standing and that can still sing.

His new group, We “R,” will feature all of the soul classics you know and love, done in Walker’s own inimitable style.

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Chris Lomheim

July 31 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Chris is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer who has been active in the Twin Cities jazz scene for more than 30 years. As leader of the Chris Lomheim Trio, he has produced three CDs: “And You’ve Been Waiting?” (1994), featuring all original compositions; “The Bridge” (2002), featuring a mix of originals and standards; and “Timeline” (2014), featuring original compositions.

Chris is a member of the all-original jazz group The Illicit Sextet, which has also produced three CDs, “Chapter One” (1993), “Chapter 11” (2013), and “Addendum” (2016).

He received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist’s Initiative grant in 2014.

Since 1991 he has been pianist for Lobby Tea at the St. Paul Hotel, and during Sommerfest he performs a regular series of solo concerts in Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall, where he plays during other special events as well.

Chris has played the world-renowned Green Mill jazz club in Chicago and the Artists’ Quarter in St. Paul. He’s a regular at many Twin Cities jazz venues, including the Dakota Jazz Club, Vieux Carré, Jazz Central, Ice House, and the Black Dog Cafe, and is featured at the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

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$7

Shifting Paradigm Records Residency: Ted Olsen Quartet

July 31 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Ted Olsen is a bassist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. As a bandleader his groups have been featured at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, The Artists’ Quarter, and Icehouse. He has also performed at Nocturne Jazz Club in Denver, CO and Festival No Improviso in Curitiba, Brazil. In composition he won the 2012 Eric Stokes Song Contest held by the American Composers’ Forum. Additionally in 2015 he was a finalist in the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers’ competition.

As a sideman he is regularly enlisted by top Twin Cities jazz luminaries and has also branched out into working with artists from the folk, rock, R&B, and contemporary classical scenes.

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August 2018

$6

Ben Cook-Feltz / Mother Banjo

August 1 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Iowa-raised, Minneapolis-based Ben Cook-Feltz is a singer, songwriter, drummer and self-taught pianist.  Combining observational, sometimes quirky lyrics with melodies that hearken back to the classic sounds of the 60′s and 70′s, he has been entertaining audiences throughout the Midwest as a dynamic performer, whether playing solo, with his crackerjack band, or backing up some of the finest regional talent.  His new record, She Doesn’t Believe Me, will be released in October 2015.

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Mother Banjo is a one-woman band featuring Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals. Selected as a 2008 Midwest Finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, the Minneapolis singer/songwriter has garnered high praise for her mix of original indie-folk and Americana songs that contain poetic lyrics and haunting vocals. Following up on her success of her EP Swing Low, Mother Banjo releases her first full-length album The Sad and Found, produced by Darren Jackson (Kid Dakota, The Hopefuls) and John Hermanson (Storyhill, The Hopefuls) and released on her own label So Low Recordings.

An engaging live performer, Mother Banjo weaves humorous stories with fun covers and her own original material. She has performed at prestigious venues like The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI) and has shared the stage with such notable songwriters as Cliff Eberhardt and Tracy Grammer. She showcased at the 2010 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, TN and is touring throughout the country in support of her new album.

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$20 table / $15 bar

Melody as Barbra: An Intimate Cabaret Performance

August 2 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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Melody always liked doing voices and imitating people from an early age. As a child growing up in Detroit, she was influenced by Jewish and Black culture and listened to Barbra, Ella Fitzgerald, Manhattan Transfer, Kathleen Battle and Mozart. It wasn’t until she started formal training at the age of 14 that she realized her voice had the potential to take her places she had never imagined.

Classically trained and worked in both Opera houses and dinner clubs, she is impassioned by the lyric and wants to foster an honest and real connection with the audience. She is an extremely giving performer and anyone who experiences her show will always leave feeling more filled than when they arrived. She’s like buttah!

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$10

Erica West Band

August 3 @ 9:00 pm - August 4 @ 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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$10

Louis Armstrong’s Birthday! w/Southside Aces

August 4 @ 9:00 pm - August 5 @ 12:00 am

Louis Daniel Armstrong would be turning 117 on August 4. The Southside Aces Big Five will honor his legacy with songs covering his entire career. They play King Oliver Louis. They play Hot Fives Louis. They play big band Louis. They play All Star Louis.

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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$35 table / $30 bar

Nels Cline 4

August 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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Of all the rich and varied projects guitarist Nels Cline has pursued since his emergence as a leader in the late 1980s, his two-guitar duo with Julian Lage, documented on the 2014 album Room, ranks among the most special. “When Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard,” Cline told JazzTimes around the time of Room’s release. “At the same time it inspired me and refreshed my soul.” Lage, for his part, declared he had “found his people” playing with Cline: “At last I found a scenario where … you could be free and adventurous, you could utilize sound and be extremely melodic and evocative.”

The duo is still ongoing, but it is morphing and expanding. With Currents, Constellations, Cline’s second Blue Note release, we hear the debut of The Nels Cline 4, made up of Cline and Lage plus the fierce and versatile rhythm section of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. All of the music is Cline’s, save for a haunting and rare Carla Bley gem from the Jimmy Giuffre 3 songbook.

Known as the lead guitarist of Wilco since 2004, and one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists,” Cline is coming off the success of his 2016 Blue Note debut Lovers, a “quietly ravishing double-album” (NY Times) featuring Cline with a large ensemble conducted and arranged by Michael Leonhart that was “wildly inventive in its watercolored way” (Rolling Stone). On Currents, Constellations Cline embraces a sparser but edgier instrumentation, which serves the adventurous thrust of the music, brimming as it does with raw energy and wild beauty.

“Even in the earliest days of the duo we used to say, ‘I wonder what we’d do if we ever had a rhythm section,’” Cline recalls. Cline establishes a scintillating rapport with Lage as he did in the duo, though Lage is tasteful enough to play a supremely musical support role as well. The point was less to feature “sovereign” guitar solos, in Cline’s words, and more to facilitate an ensemble sound, whether marked by heated collective improvisation or a more delicate and precise approach on the contemplative pieces.

Find out more »
$30 table / $25 bar

Nels Cline 4

August 7 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

BUY TICKETS HERE

Of all the rich and varied projects guitarist Nels Cline has pursued since his emergence as a leader in the late 1980s, his two-guitar duo with Julian Lage, documented on the 2014 album Room, ranks among the most special. “When Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard,” Cline told JazzTimes around the time of Room’s release. “At the same time it inspired me and refreshed my soul.” Lage, for his part, declared he had “found his people” playing with Cline: “At last I found a scenario where … you could be free and adventurous, you could utilize sound and be extremely melodic and evocative.”

The duo is still ongoing, but it is morphing and expanding. With Currents, Constellations, Cline’s second Blue Note release, we hear the debut of The Nels Cline 4, made up of Cline and Lage plus the fierce and versatile rhythm section of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. All of the music is Cline’s, save for a haunting and rare Carla Bley gem from the Jimmy Giuffre 3 songbook.

Known as the lead guitarist of Wilco since 2004, and one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists,” Cline is coming off the success of his 2016 Blue Note debut Lovers, a “quietly ravishing double-album” (NY Times) featuring Cline with a large ensemble conducted and arranged by Michael Leonhart that was “wildly inventive in its watercolored way” (Rolling Stone). On Currents, Constellations Cline embraces a sparser but edgier instrumentation, which serves the adventurous thrust of the music, brimming as it does with raw energy and wild beauty.

“Even in the earliest days of the duo we used to say, ‘I wonder what we’d do if we ever had a rhythm section,’” Cline recalls. Cline establishes a scintillating rapport with Lage as he did in the duo, though Lage is tasteful enough to play a supremely musical support role as well. The point was less to feature “sovereign” guitar solos, in Cline’s words, and more to facilitate an ensemble sound, whether marked by heated collective improvisation or a more delicate and precise approach on the contemplative pieces.

Find out more »
$7

Twin Cities Hot Club

August 8 @ 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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