BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, they play music that’s honest to the bone! – Allen Toussaint
THE BEST CAJUN BAND IN THE WORLD – Garrison Keillor, Prairie Home Companion
For the past 40 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet’s spellbinding fiddle playing and soulful vocals, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. BeauSoleil’s distinctive sound derives from the distilled spirits of New Orleans jazz, blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass, captivating listeners from the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, to Carnegie Hall, then all the way across the pond to Richard Thompson’s Meltdown Festival in England.Find out more »
Calling to mind at times everything from Antibalas and the Dap-Kings to The Meters and Fela Kuti, The Polyrhythmics brim over with excitement and inventiveness. This is music you feel not just in your heart, but in every fiber of every muscle. It’s music you move to, music you lose yourself in.
Written in rural Oregon in the shadow of Mt. Hood (itself an active volcano), their latest record Caldera is a blistering declaration from a band that’s progressed beyond the sum of its influences to come fully into its own. Rich with bold brass and hypnotic percussion, the album showcases the instrumental eight-piece’s impossibly tight grooves and virtuosic musicianship as they tear through a singular blend of funk, soul, psychedelic rock, R&B, progressive jazz, and Afrobeat. It’s without a doubt their strongest work to date, merging the infectious power of their live show with a sleek and nuanced studio sophistication.
The Stranger has dubbed Polyrhythmics a group to watch, hailing their “sophisticated slinkiness and expressive brassiness,” while WNCW praises their “modern afro-psycho-beat blend,” and the Seattle Times dubs them “funk maestros.” The band has been invited to perform live on influential Seattle NPR station KEXP, has shared bills with everyone from Snarky Puppy to Booker T, and has played massive festival stages including Bumbershoot, High Sierra, and Vancouver International Jazz Fest.
In the end, that’s what Polyrhythmics are all about: transporting you, body and soul, into the brilliant and vivid sonic landscapes they’ve crafted. With Caldera, they’ve launched a whole new era of the band, opening up an endless stream of collaborative possibilities. The smoke has cleared, and Polyrhythmics are just getting started.Find out more »
Ben Allison, bass
Shane Endsley, trumpet
Rudy Royston, drums
Steve Cardenas, guitar
In a career that spans nearly 30 years, bassist/composer Ben Allison has developed his own instantly identifiable sound, solidifying an international reputation as one of the leading voices of his generation. Known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves and hummable melodies, Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole.
With his groups The Ben Allison Band, Think Free, The Easy Way Trio, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the world, winning fans and building new audiences with an adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected.Find out more »
Lila Ammons is a versatile and engaging singer who has forged a path in music that honors tradition and her own expressive impulses. Beginning her vocal career in opera houses and concert halls, she later returned to her roots in jazz and the classic blues tradition. For the past several years she has gained popular and critical acclaim touring Europe and Brazil with German pianist Axel Zwingenberger, and as featured vocalist with the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie Quartet with Zwingenberger and Charlie Watts.
Ammons has won fans of jazz and bossa to classic blues performing at some of the Midwest’s and Europe’s largest Blues, Boogie Woogie, and Jazz Fests. For the past two years, Ammons has primarily remained Stateside to focus on her jazz act and her upcoming CD project, “Genealogy” – a celebration of the heritage of jazz and her own family heritage. Her ensemble, The Lila Ammons Jazz Group, is actively performing in her home-base of the Twin Cities. Through recordings and live performances alike, Ammons continues to attract new audiences with her nuanced vocal jazz narratives, a respect for jazz idioms, traditional blues and an unpredictability that delights.Find out more »
Scott Mateo Davies began studying guitar at age nine. Upon completing high school, he traveled extensively for four years, performing as a folk singer in diverse venues in London, Casablanca, Stockholm, and New Delhi.
After returning to Minneapolis, Davies founded the pop group “The Rogues,” touring the Midwest for the next eleven years. While on the road, he began playing classical guitar.
Davies is committed to promoting issues related to education and child welfare. He is a father of three and a participating sponsor with Children International for fifteen years. Davies also performs regularly at school assemblies, workshops, and residencies.Find out more »
At Vieux Carré, every last Friday of the month is the Best Friday Ever! The Southside Aces sextet plays a century’s worth of New Orleans jazz. They travel from Louis Armstrong to Jelly Roll Morton to Preservation Hall, with stops along the way at Duke Ellington and Bix Beiderbecke. From Buddy Bolden to Lady Gaga! What?! You heard right. That’s why this is the Best Friday Ever.
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.Find out more »
A veteran of the Twin Cities music scene, multi-instrumentalist Steve Kimmel is considered a legend of the West Bank. Steve ran the old Rainbow Gallery Jazz Club and handled bookings for the Loring Bar. His long and colorful career includes stints in acclaimed jazz project Natural Life, as well as blues favorites the Lamont Cranston Band.Find out more »
For two decades, Mama Digdown’s has traveled the world spreading the gospel of New Orleans brass band music. While Mama Digdown’s nods respectively to the tradition of New Orleans jazz, the street beat they play has earned them the reputation as one of the hottest and hardest hitting brass bands. Mama Digdown’s has played hundreds of shows in their time together and is equally at home in concert halls, festivals, clubs and parades.Find out more »
Maria and The Last Music Company are pleased to announce the release of “DON’T YOU FEEL MY LEG ~ The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blue Lu Barker” on September 28th!
This will mark Maria’s 41st album in a distinguished career that has established her as a preeminent and revered interpreter of American roots music, and it is her first studio album in six years.
For this stunning set, Maria pays tribute to the wonderful Blue Lu Barker, the popular vocalist and songwriter of the late 30s and early 40s whom Billie Holiday once cited as her biggest influence.
Barker’s “Don’t You Feel My Leg” that made it onto Maria’s 1973 self-titled solo debut album at the suggestion of Dr. John. The album went on to spawn a million-seller hit with “Midnight at The Oasis,” & yet to this day, “Leg” remains her most requested song.
Maria Muldaur spices her music with passion and a voice that’s scintillating, brazen, and lightly burnished. Whether dipping into the songbook of Peggy Lee or wading into the Louisiana bayou, she completely envelops herself in her chosen style. For over 40 years as a performer, she’s literally lived the life of someone steeped in the American roots music songbook, whether it’s blues, jazz, gospel, folk, country or rhythm & blues. She’s the real deal, a true natural resource without any artificial affectations or jive.
Born and raised in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Muldaur grew up in a very fertile musical climate. While still in her teens, Maria joined John Sebastian and David Grisman to form the Even Dozen Jug Band, and soon moved to Boston to join the influential Jim Kweskin Jug Band. This group attracted national attention and a recording contract, and when they disbanded in 1968, Maria had her pick of musical directions to take. After making a couple of blues records with husband Geoff Muldaur, she was asked to record a pop song called “Midnight at the Oasis.” It was her first solo recording, and it went platinum.
Since the early 1970s Maria has been involved in a dizzying number of projects: jazz, gospel, swing tunes, roots music, New Orleans anthems, protest songs, and more.Find out more »
Early Happy Hour + free live performance video taping of Performance Today Young Artist Pianist Rodolfo Leone playing Rachmaninov.
American Public Media’s Performance Today, is America’s most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement. The show reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week. Performance Today showcases the vitality of today’s classical music scene with concert highlights, interviews and stories. Based in Saint Paul, MN, Performance Today is hosted by Fred Child.
Twenty-seven-year-old Italian born pianist Rodolfo Leone is the First Prize Winner of the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna (2017). Described as “a true sound philosopher” (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten), Rodolfo released his debut album on the Austrian label Gramola in May 2018. The all-Beethoven disc features two pillars of the piano repertoire: the “Hammerklavier” Sonata and the “Waldstein” Sonata. His playing has been described as having “impeccable style” and “absolute technical control” with “hands that every pianist would like to have” (Il Nuovo Amico).
Rodolfo’s 2018-19 season includes debuts with the San Diego Symphony (Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1), and the Pasadena Symphony (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21). He also performs Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Colburn Orchestra. In May 2019 he gives a recital tour in Austria, culminating in a performance in Vienna at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein. He also performs recitals in Los Angeles and Naples, Florida, and appears on the chamber music series Le Salon de Musiques in Los Angeles. A 2018-19 Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, Rodolfo’s live recordings will be broadcast nationally in the United States in late 2018.Find out more »