The Claudettes fuse Chicago piano blues with the full-throttle energy of rockabilly and punk and the sultriness of ’60s soul to write a thrilling new chapter in American roots music. Johnny Iguana pounds the piano alongside seductive singer Berit Ulseth, bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn and drummer Michael Caskey.
Johnny, who toured for years with his cult-favorite rock band oh my god, is also a member of the Grammy-nominated groups Chicago Blues–A Living History and the Muddy Waters 100 Band. He has toured/recorded with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and more.
The Claudettes recorded their new album with Grammy-winning producer Mark Neill (Black Keys, Paladins, Old 97’s, J.D. McPherson). It was released March 23, 2018 on Yellow Dog Records (Memphis, TN) and on April 13 in Europe/UK on Continental Records Services.
GREG KOT, CHICAGO TRIBUNE A revelatory blend of jazz and blues, stirred with punk brio. There are also dashes of classical and world music, and enough stops, starts and hairpin turns to suggest the giddiness of Raymond Scott’s cartoon music…How do they do it?
DOWNBEAT Hits listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B. Catch them in a chaotic ballroom!
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE A skewed cabaret band of blues, jazz and rockabilly…a sensibility that feels equal parts James Dean and David Lynch.
BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE Like Keith Moon chasing a crazed, punked-up Little Richard… greasy rhythm and blues that makes the dance floor so slippery you need to sprinkle sawdust on the floor to keep from falling down…a great ride, one that’ll leave you shaking and laughing and wanting more the next time this rowdy carnival comes to town.
Rick Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast works of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and capitalizing on a long string of happy accidents. He has also perfected the art of “circular drinking”, whereby he can sip martinis uninterrupted while still playing a cohesive piano solo.
He has been the pianist for the Wolverines Big Band since 1980. He is a sought-after accompanist by singers and has served as pianist and musical director for various local concert series, including those for the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s “J To Z” series, the Capri Theater’s “Legends” series, and for special presentations at the Heights Theatre and performing arts centers across the United States. He has performed on concert stages in London and New York City, and has appeared with Count Basie drummer Butch Miles, trumpeter Warren Vaché, New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher, and served as musical director, arranger and pianist in the Guthrie Theater’s presentation of “Coward’s Women”. He has opened for Rosemary Clooney, accompanied Kathryn Crosby in various cabaret shows, and counts Madeleine Peyroux among his many unwitting fans.
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 MagazineFind out more »
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.Find out more »
Formed in 1998, Grand Marquis has since become solidly rooted in the Kansas City music scene as one of the hardest-working bands in the region, playing over 100 shows per year! The group has performed from coast to coast, released 7 albums, including a 7″ 45 rpm vinyl record/CD combo recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. With their own versatile and thoroughly entertaining brand of American roots, blues and Prohibition-era jazz, the Grand Marquis are consistently finding themselves in high demand.
Ben Ruth: upright bass, sousaphone, backing vocals; Chad Boydston: trumpet, backing vocals; Ryan Wurtz: electric and acoustic guitars; Trevor Turla: trombone, backing vocals; Fritz Hutchison: drums, backing vocals; Bryan Redmond: lead vocals; soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophones.Find out more »
Jeremy Walker is a prolific composer and pianist who started playing the saxophone at age ten in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN. He was the founder of the club Brilliant Corners – voted by Downbeat magazine as “One of the 100 Great Jazz Clubs Worldwide,” and co-founder of the non-profit organization Jazz is NOW!– which launched with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet and surprise guest, Itzhak Perlman.
In 2003, City Pages voted Walker “Best Local Impresario” for his “community-conscious” programming. Turning to piano and composition in 2005, Walker earned recognition including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study grant, and collaborations with TU Dance and Zenon Dance Company. He has performed with Vincent Gardner, Marcus Printup, Ted Nash, Ron Miles, Matt Wilson, JT Bates, and other notable musicians. In addition to commissions, Walker has written over 70 compositions for his bands: Small City Trio, Boot Camp, BOXCAR featuring Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and Anthony Cox, The NOWnet, and The Bootet.
In 2014, Walker released his most ambitious recording to date: 7 Psalms. The album was released in March 2014 on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon and was listed in Star Tribune as one of the 2014 albums in the Twin Cities Critics Tally with Walker listed as one of the “Jazz Heros” in Jazz Police.
In October 2014, Minnesota Orchestra named Walker Curator of the new Jazz in the Target Atrium series at Orchestra Hall bringing together national musicians with the regional Atrium Jazz Ensemble.Find out more »
The Selby Avenue Brass Band is a relatively new voice in the Minneapolis / St. Paul music scene. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger & composer and music educator in the Twin Cities area. Tom’s compositions and arrangement fuel a band comprised of enthusiastic and experienced musicians (including a couple of Grammy winners). While our musical roots come from the streets of New Orleans we expand from that genre into many others.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 »
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 »
Earthy, emotive soul music from a stunning new talent. Accompanying herself on guitar and piano, Mayyadda performs original songs alongside others she loves, creating an arresting, heartfelt effect. Get drawn into Mayyadda’s musical world, and hear the future of contemporary R&B.Find out more »