Bottomless Pit features guitarist Joel Shapira, with an array of post-bop sounds including Pete Whitman on tenor saxophone, double-bassist Tom Lewis and the astonishing former Weather Report drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt.Find out more »
Originally from Ithaca, New York, Park Evans grew up studying with classical guitarist Karl Wolff and British fingerstyle guitar master Martin Simpson. He moved to Minnesota to further his study of classical guitar and composition at Saint Olaf College. Upon discovering the rich music scene in the twin cities and studying with local jazz guitarists Dean Magraw and Kevin Daley he became a permanent resident.
Evans performs in multiple groups including genre-bending jazz quartet Enormous, modern jazz trio Fire Bell, world music ensemble New Primitives, and indie rockers Corey Palmer and Love Trade.Find out more »
“Berets and Bongos” describes the Café Accordion experience. A loungy, eclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude. The heart of the Café Accordion repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their high level of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining concert act as well as a great dance band.
CAO is led by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, with Eric Mohring on mandolin, violin and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass and vocals, Robert Bell on guitar and vocals and Joe Steinger on percussion. CAO has been delighting audiences and dancers alike since 1995. They have appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series, the International Akkordeon Festival in Vienna, Austria, the Minnesota State Fair, as well as festivals, theaters and dance halls across the United States.Find out more »
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.Find out more »
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.Find out more »
MSCM Faculty Combo: Adam Meckler – trumpet Scott Agster – trombone Pete Whitman – saxophones Chris Olson – guitars Sean Turner – piano Gary Raynor – bass Dave Schmalenberger – drumsFind out more »
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.Find out more »
Rhonda Laurie hails from New York City, where she grew up in a family of professional singers and performers. Rhonda began her career as a cabaret singer in Manhattan nightclubs. She has studied vocal jazz with Janet Lawson, Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton.
Rhonda is regularly praised for her smooth vocals and savvy interpretations of jazz classics and less familiar repertoire. In 2007, Rhonda was featured in the Twin Cities Jazz Society Jazz from J to Z concert, “I Get a Kick Out of Cole.” From 2007-2008 she enjoyed a weekly run at Cavé Vin in Minneapolis. Laurie has performed at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival 6 times, and she is a fellow of the prestigious Cabaret Conference at Yale. From 2004-2008, she was founding President of the MN Chapter of the Jazz Vocal Coalition.
Whether swinging a la gypsy, straight-ahead jazz, or cabaret, her approach is modern and fresh, obscuring musical boundaries. In 2010 Rhonda released her first CD, “Rhonda Laurie & Sidewalk Café,” and is getting excellent reviews and radio play.Find out more »
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.Find out more »
Belle Amour is a world class jazz band that captures the essence of the era with a look and sound that connects the audience to the music in a fun and engaging way. Belle Amour is comprised of classically trained professional musicians. Members of Belle Amour have toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed artists. Music performance is our way of communicating with the world around us.Find out more »