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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March 2018

Travis Anderson Trio

March 27 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Travis Anderson (piano), Steve Pikal (bass) and Nathan Norman (drums)

With energy and chops to burn, they bring fresh interpretations to standards and more- from Chopin to Mario Bros. They swing like there’s no tomorrow while saluting the great trios of yesterday.

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Steven Hobert

March 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.” Based out of Minneapolis, he tours as a soloist, leads the world beat-driven ensemble FireFlyForest, performs with the chamber-jazz ensemble Lulu’s Playground (accordion, trumpet, guitar and cello), and works as a free-lance producer, composer and instrumentalist for countless shows with vocalists and ensembles doing jazz, klezmer, sacred music, Americana, classical, rock and Latin American music.

Through his authentic and vulnerable expression, Steven aims to be a musical vehicle to spark inspiration, compassionate connection, and facilitate community & healing.

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Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw

March 28 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw has fine-tuned his “Heavy Meadow” approach to music from years of performing and recording with some of the finest musicians in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year.

Dean has since produced myriad passionate albums, including his latest  release, Fire on the Nile (Red House Records), a duo collaboration with renowned percussionist, Eric Kamau Gravatt.

“Dean Magraw… so liquid, lyrical and effortless it’s like listening to a dancer.” -Steve Tibbetts

“Dean Magraw unveils soulful melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.” -Nick Lethert

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In a career spanning over 45 years, pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson has earned a world-wide reputation as a traditional jazz and ragtime master. He tours widely as a soloist or at the helm of any of his several ensembles, including his well-known Butch Thompson Trio, his eight-piece Jazz Originals band, the Butch Thompson Big Three, or his unique blues duo with fingerstyle guitarist Pat Donohue.

In 1974, he joined the staff as the house pianist of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. By 1980, the show was nationally syndicated, and the Butch Thompson Trio was the house band, a position the group held for the next six years.

In addition to extensive touring (he has traveled the world from Cairo to Tokyo) as a soloist and with his trio and 8-piece Jazz Originals Band, he finds time to write and teach. His writing has appeared in various magazines including Down Beat and The Mississippi Rag, and among his teaching credits are residencies at the American University in Cairo and the New England Conservatory of Music.

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Joel Shapira

March 29 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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.

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JC Sanford Quartet

March 29 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

JC Sanford – trombone, compositions
Zacc Harris – guitar
Chris Bates – bass
Pete Hennig – drumset

After 16 years in New York City, MN native and trombonist/composer JC Sanford recently relocated to his home state. A long time student of the legendary Bob Brookmeyer, Sanford has performed as a trombonist along side the likes of Danilo Pérez, Matt Wilson, Bill Stewart, and Donny McCaslin. A sought-after conductor of new large ensemble music in NYC, he conducts the twice-Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble, and the Alice Coltrane Orchestra featuring Ravi Coltrane and Jack DeJohnette.

His 2014 JC Sanford Orchestra album Views from the Inside won international acclaim, and was awarded the prestigious Aaron Copland Fund for Recording grant. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by artists such as Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Lew Soloff, and Ingrid Jensen. He was recently recognized as a “Rising Star” trombonist, arranger, and big band in DownBeat Magazine’s 2017 Critic’s Poll.

Since returning to Minnesota, he has performed with stalwarts of the Twin Cities jazz scene such as Chris and JT Bates, Davu Seru, Babatunde Lea, Brandon Wozniak, and Laura Caviani, in addition to his own quartet (JC4), trio (Triocracy), and big band (Inatnas Orchestra) co-led with his wife, Asuka Kakitani.

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Jon Pemberton

March 30 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Jon Pemberton is a Minneapolis/St. Paul based jazz musician, enjoying an active career as trumpeter, pianist, teacher and composer. Jon was born in the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota where his interest in music was evident at an early age.

Jon began a career in private teaching (brass and piano) which lasts to this day. He has taught thousands of students, many of whom perform in the area’s top youth orchestras, and some of whom have gone on to their own professional careers. Jon also began his performance career after graduating from college. In these years he focused on the trumpet, landing sideman gigs with many of the area’s top bands and musicians. In addition, Jon has formed his own jazz quintets, The PemberTones and Tribute to Lee Morgan.

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Best Friday Ever! w/Southside Aces

March 30 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Southside Aces 4

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

March 31 @ 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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Joyann Parker Band

March 31 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm

Joyann Parker has been a must-see addition to the Indie Blues music scene since 2013, and has performed for thousands at major venues and festivals across the country. In 2015, Joyann and her band were the winner of the International Blues Challenge for the state of Minnesota. The album “On the Rocks” has been nominated for an Independent Blues Music Award for Best New Album and was also named  2016’s Best Self-Produced CD by the Minnesota Blues Society.

An accomplished singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter, Joyann is frequently associated with passion, power and soul. She sings from the gut with an authenticity seldom found in today’s vocalists. Her vocal prowess and control allow her to move freely from one genre to another, from Patsy Cline to Etta James and right over to Janis Joplin with the greatest of ease.

Joyann is an endorsed Heritage Guitars artist, and is currently performing and booking shows in the Midwest and planning a winter tour along with writing for the next album.

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April 2018

Chris Lomheim/Joel Shapira Duo

April 3 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Chris Lomheim Trio 146869z

As a bandleader, composer, and sideman, Chris Lomheim is an integral part of the vibrant Twin Cities jazz scene.

“…unquestionably one of the finest piano trio recordings on the jazz landscape today.” – All About Jazz review of Chris’s latest recording, Timeline

As leader of the Chris Lomheim Trio he has produced 3 CD’s: And You’ve Been Waiting? (1994) featuring all original compositions,  The Bridge (2002) featuring a mix of originals and a handful of standards, and Timeline (2014) featuring all originals. Chris was nominated best pianist in the 1997 Minnesota Music Awards, and was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board “Artist Initiative” Grant for 2014.

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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.

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