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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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April 2018
$20 advance  / $25 day of show

Christian Sands Trio

April 25 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
ChristianSands

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“jazz star of the future” – Wynton Marsalis

With his debut recording, Reach, singularly talented pianist and five-time Grammy Award nominee Christian Sands is stretching into exciting progressive territory. He breaks new ground traversing from the straight-ahead zone into fresh-sounding music influenced by a range of styles, from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop beats to dirty blues with an edge. That’s impressive for a youngster who is just 27. “The collection here is about reaching new ideas and reaching new music,” he says. “I’m reaching from past recordings to bring in the future, which is really all about finding myself. It’s a chance to express my experience.”

Reach becomes one more milestone in Sands’ auspicious career that stretches back to his New Haven, Connecticut upbringing. Having started playing piano at four years old, composing his first piece of music at age five, starting music classes at eight, and becoming a professional at ten, Sands was well-prepared to attend such prestigious schools as the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven (he later received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music).

But a key moment came when he attended the Jazz in July summer workshop at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst when he was in high school. That was where he met and began his mentorship with Dr. Billy Taylor. “I was 13 or 14 and I studied with Dr. Taylor,” Sands says. “After the first week, he asked me to stay a second. I went on to take private lessons with him and master classes. He became my music grandfather; I went to his house in the Bronx and we’d talk about different music such as his piano heroes like Art Tatum and then bands I was listening to, including The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, John Legend, and he was hip to all this.”

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Miss Myra Burnette

April 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Myra Burnette - promo

Listening to Miss Myra and The Moonshiners is like taking a swig of Tennessee’s finest moonshine; it’s smooth, with a kick. The Moonshiners deliver the sultriest mix of vintage jazz and barrelhouse blues and nothing but the highest proof tunes can satisfy Miss Myra’s soul.  She belts melodies hearkening back to the roots of America’s original art form, invoking the powerful vocals of Bessie Smith with the silkiness of Lil Green, while the talented instrumentalists in her band shine through with the perfect accompaniment.

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$25 advance / $30 day of show

Tim Kliphuis & Alfonso Ponticelli

April 26 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
TimKliphuisAlfonsoPonticelli

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Combining a masterful command of the violin with genre-mashing interpretations of gypsy jazz, folk and classical music, Tim Kliphuis has created a unique style that is making waves in concert halls across the globe. The award-winning Dutch violinist breathes new life into existing styles with a high-energy blend of classical, gypsy jazz and folk music. His improvised sound is totally new and has popular appeal.
Classically trained and widely regarded as Stéphane Grappelli’s heir, regularly on tour with the fiery European gypsy guitarists, Kliphuis is a highly personal and inspiring performer, composer and educator. He has shared the stage with legends Frankie Gavin, Richard Galliano and Les Paul and has been lauded for his musical genius by Nigel Kennedy. He was awarded the Scottish Jazz Award (International), has collaborated with the Richard Strauss Festival and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and is the curator of the Fifty Fiddles Festival, in Rotterdam’s De Doelen concert hall.

An in-demand educator, Kliphuis is the author of best-selling Mel Bay books ‘Stéphane Grappelli Gypsy Jazz Violin’ and ‘Grappelli Licks’, the ‘Hot Jazz Violin’ DVDs and Jazz Etudes on video. His workshops and masterclasses have been featured at festivals, conservatoires and summer courses in the USA, Canada, UK, South Africa, Japan and Europe. Tim teaches improvisation at the Amsterdam and Tilburg conservatoires and hosts the annual sell-out Grappelli-Django Camp back home in Holland every August.
Alfonso Ponticelli, leader of the Swing Gitan band, has been part of the Chicago jazz scene since the early 1980s and is the founder of the Chicago Gypsy Jazz Festival.

 

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Lonesome Dan Kase

April 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
LonesomeDan

As a teenager growing up in rural southern Michigan, Lonesome Dan Kase happened upon a radio show called the “Blues Cruise,” broadcast out of Ann Arbor. Although he had picked up the guitar a year or so before, when he began hearing artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson, he quickly became hooked on the country blues.

Lonesome Dan’s live performances showcase both his unique finger-picking style and dynamic vocals as well as his depth of knowledge of the history of the blues and related forms.. If you catch a live performance, you’re bound to walk away with some interesting tidbits about known artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson or more obscure performers like Funny Papa Smith. Lonesome Dan’s trusted companions are his hand built Kopp K-35 6-string and his 1935 National played bottleneck/slide style.

Lonesome Dan Kase continues to play his unique brand of blues in and around Minnesota. However, his desire to experience other parts of the country still takes him out on the road. Dan has put out 4 solo cds as well as 2 with Crush Collision Trio and one with 32-20 Jug Band. His most recent cd, “So Glad I’m Livin’,” was released in early 2009.

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$10

Best Friday Ever! w/Southside Aces

April 27 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Southside Aces 4

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.

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Scott Graves

April 28 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Scott Graves BOTC in wisconsin 2012

 

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

Erica West Band

April 28 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
EricaWestBand

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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May 2018

Ted Godbout

May 1 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
TedGodbout-aCanter

Ted Godbout is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in Music-Piano Performance from St. John’s University and an M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon. A versatile and active musician, Ted performs frequently as a jazz pianist and classical accompanist, as well in funk, R&B, and rock bands. He has performed with such notable artists and groups as Ron Miles, Mark Colby, and the Harry James Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist in the Music Northwest Chamber Music Series in Seattle, WA and the St. Cloud Symphony Honors Concert in St. Cloud, MN.

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$7

Katia Cardenas

May 1 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
katia-cardenas

Katia Cardenas is a jazz and R&B vocalist in the Twin Cities, recognized for her radiant energy, impeccable range, and dynamic and powerful voice. Releasing her debut EP in Spring 2016, she has been performing locally since 2014 at many local respected venues, including Crooners Lounge, Jazz Central Studios, Vieux Carré and Dakota Jazz Club. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a musical family, and was raised on jazz, funk, and R&B. She moved to Sacramento, California in 2000, where she received a Waldorf education, which instilled in her a deep appreciation and passion for music. Katia came to the Twin Cities in 2006 to attend Macalester College, where she performed regularly in a cappella groups and other bands. After graduating, music was just a side note for a few years as she pursued a career in acting and theater education. But in 2013, she realized the significant lack of music in her life, and needed to make a change.

Making music in the Twin Cities has been a family tradition ever since her father, Mark Cardenas, joined The Time in 1983, appearing in Prince’s iconic film “Purple Rain,” and later playing in Jessie Johnson’s Revue. Her mother, singer-songwriter Janis Kelly, also began her music career here at that time. While the family left MN before she was born, Katia’s emergence on the local music scene in 2014 has not gone unnoticed. Deemed “one of the fastest rising stars on the Twin Cities jazz scene,” Jazz Police also called her “a young but veteran vocalist who can cover Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, yet is equally adept at modern folk/pop/blues,” while Rhythm & Grooves (KFAI 90.6) says, “Katia Cardenas has the pipes to get over an R&B tune, but also has the instincts and subtlety to handle jazz standards.”

Since her debut Twin Cities performance in February 2014, she has collaborated with numerous local musicians, exploring different musical styles, including jazz, latin, R&B, and pop. She has also joined Casablanca Orchestra (CBO), the Midwest’s premiere show band. Katia is passionate about creating community around the arts and has engaged with numerous local artist networks including Jazz Central Studios, Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network (TCCAN), Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, and Minnesota Music Coalition. As an actor and administrator, she also works with local theater companies Teatro Del Pueblo, Pangea World Theater and TigerLion Arts. The people she’s met through the Twin Cities arts and music community are a huge part of where she is today; they are a constant inspiration, and reminder to pursue her dreams.

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Ben Cook-Feltz

May 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
BenCookFeltz

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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