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Archive for the ‘Minneapolis Concert’ Category

As I said yesterday, one of my friends, Will McClain, posted his thoughts on the Prince Family Reunion at How Wast The Show, and I think it speaks very well about the night.

“The stars had aligned: the eve of Prince’s 50th birthday, a modest Minneapolis stage, a roster thick with old friends and family, a Prince pseudonym (Jamie Starr) on the bill—how could it not add up to an appearance by the diminutive star?”

“With tickets under $20, the bill was an impressive who’s who of Prince hired guns, a vivified wax museum of Twin Cities music history. From pioneer Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson to sax man Eric Leeds and quirky keyboardist Dr. Matt Fink, the stage heaved with the souls who’d rocked us from beneath his purple shadow. From note one, the Prince alum seemed to be having the time of their lives.”

…and the thoughts that I think summed up the experience perfectly:

“The purple veterans looked 20 years younger as they ended a brief encore with the bubbly “She’s Always in My Hair,” and bounced off stage to passionate applause. Still, the night had come and gone without an appearance by Minneapolis’ prodigal son.

And it was just as well.

Indeed, a Prince cameo would have seemed out of place, almost unfair, on a night when the musicians who had once helped shape a scene had their well-deserved moment in the spotlight.”

This night was enough to drive me to check out the other places where Prince’s people play from Bunkers (Dr. Mambo’s Combo) to the Artists’ Quarters (Tuesday Night Band  with “Downtown” Bill Brown (Hammond B-3), Billy Franze (guitar).

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Chicago Afrobeat ProjectAfrobeat music does not stand still. Like their funky African forefathers, the Chicago Afrobeat Project (CAbP) will keep the crowds moving.

The band mixes polyrhythmic, infectious grooves with political awareness and even hints of hip hop with their horns. The group will be strutting their stuff at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday, October 5th at 8:00 pm in Minneapolis.

At each performance, the percussion and sharp horn lines of CAbP stir up energetic momentum, sweeping listeners directly to the dance floor time and time again. They’ll also be celebrating the release of their new album (A) Move to Silent Unrest. Tickets are $12 in advanced and $15 the day of the show.

You can check out their sounds at MySpace or from their extensive collection of audio files listed at their website.

Listen to Free CAbP MP3s

Chicago Afrobeat Project

Zambi – An alternate album mix with uncensored vocals from Poetree Chicago.
West Ganji – From the band’s Nov. 12th, 2005 CD Release Party at Martyrs Live in Chicago.

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Dhafer Youssef“The kind of gig you watched and prayed would never end, charged with such magic that you knew you would be telling people about it in years to come.”

—Straight No Chaser

Tunisian-born singer and oud player, Dhafer Youssef, will be making his Minnesota debut and kicking off the Walker Art Center‘s New World Jazz Series on Thursday, September 27th at 8:00 pm.

Dhafer Youssef’s hypnotic, Sufi-inspired music connects the ancient with the modern, the East with the West in an enticing coalescence of culture. Youssef draws on the evocative sound of his Islamic heritage, combining it with new directions in European jazz and “a voice that could stop wars” (Songlines) to create timeless atmospheres of sound.

Youssef will be joined in the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater by a very accomplished string quartet—Todd Reynolds, violin; Daisy Jopling, violin; Caleb Burhans, viola; Mark Helias, bass; and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.

Dhafer Youssef tickets are $22 ($18 Walker members).


Dhafer Youssef Quartet performing at the ‘Jazz Onze Plus’ festival in Lausanne on October 28, 2006. The quartet performs the song ‘Odd Poetry’ from Dhafer’s 2006 Jazzland release ‘Divine Shadows’.

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Lojo Russo at the Ritual CafeLojo Russo, who I first became aware of on my travels to Des Moines, is an exceptional voice offering the power of Ani and the grace of the Indigo Girls.

Originally from the Twin Cities, she’s playing Tuesday, August 28th, at the Minnehaha Falls Park Pavillion at 7:00 pm. The concert is free and the food at Sea Salt Eatery is great. Try the fish tacos.

Minnehaha Falls
Aug. 28 – 7:00 pm – Free
4801 Minnehaha Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Phone: 612 230-6400

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We like to mix it with different languages and different cultures, but everything is based in Mama Africa. Everything in America comes from Mama Africa.

Quilombolas performing during the Afrifest GalaThe message from bassist and lead vocalist of Eric S.B. of Quilombolas perfectly describes the AfriFest Gala concert experience with bands hailing from Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Puerto Rico – the rhythms and beat of the drum all called out to the original homeland of Mama Africa in an experience that had the audience grooving for five hours and wanting more.

Wegegta
Mehanie Woldemichael, guitarist for Wegegta With some of the band’s members hailing from Ethiopia, Wegegta means a sprinkle or a ray of light, according to bass guitarist, Jonathan Bekare. The bands sound fuses jazz, Afropop, and a fat sound from keyboardist, Samuel Francis, that at times are more reminiscent of East African pop. Opening with a traditional song from south Ethiopia and then grooving into a cover of Ransome, a hard-driving tune from the Groove Collective dedicated to Fela Kuti.

Wegegta’s guitarists Mehanie Woldemicheal and Robert Hall carried the band going back and forth through the set with great solos and finger-work. The band was amazingly tight as the music changed time though out songs. The intermix of the jazz beat and Ethiopian sound and rhythms worked well to warm the crowd up for a great evening of music. The half-hour time they played was too short, and Wegegta could easily have easily held their own for an entire show.

Matt Levitt of QuilombolasQuilombolas
Before the AfriFest gala, Quilombolas guitarist and vocalist Matt Levitt greeted concert goers with an acoustic set. His ability to change up styles from the acoustic set to samba during the first number epitomized the band’s travel around the world of musical genres from rap and rock to samba and reggae. The act blended the styles of Rage Against the Machine with Ozomatli and guitar solos that were pure rock through their entire set.

Quilombolas Eric S.B. (bass) and Papi U (drums) perform at the CedarWith as seamlessly as the band blends different music styles, the vocals blended just as well with the sometimes higher falsetto voice of drummer Papi U complimenting the hip-hop vocals of Eric S.B. and Levitt8. In addition to the threesome, the band was joined by two guest percussionists which added a great Latin beat to the mix.

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Munnah Myers - Soulful Liberian Hip-Hop ArtistEnergy and focus defines this talented singer, dancer, and songwriter. A refugee from the civil wars that ravaged her native homeland of Liberia, Munnah began her entertainment career dancing and singing as a part of the refugee camp activities in Ghana.

Eventually her family made their way to Minneapolis, where she has continued actively writing and performing. She is absorbed in composing her own version of Hip-Hop music that clearly resonates with the Twin Cities young people and challenges the body to sit still. Munnah in her music keeps her feet planted in both American and Liberian cultures, incorporating soulful American hip-hop influences such as Mary J. Blige and Lauren Hill and challenging the norms of her culture by speaking about the treatment of young women. She is committed to raising the awareness of these actions, and making positive changes where she can.

An example of her blending of cultures can be found on her MySpace website in the single, “West Africa,” where she acknowledges the conflicts of the past years in West Africa, expresses wishes for peace and a love for her people. With her personal history shaped by conflicts and constant movement and a willingness to share her love of a continent, hope and peace could not have found a better spokesperson.

Munnah takes the main stage of the Cedar Cultural Center at 9:00 PM. Doors open for the gala at 6:00 PM, and the main stage bands start at 7:00. Tickets for the AfriFest Gala are $10 at the door for five bands.

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Quilombolas To Perform at AfrifestDuring colonial times the Quilombos of Brazil provided a place of refuge for anyone regardless of background or creed. Quilombolas’ music, infused with vibes of liberty, justice, and equality, establishes a similar musical refuge through its multi-lingual, socio-politically-aware lyrics, driving rhythms, and blending of world musical styles.

As the band’s website describes, “The members have a common love and appreciation for music that grooves, reflecting the fact that the sounds they enjoy all come from Africa and the subsequent African Diaspora. Funk, rock, hip-hop, samba, salsa, reggae, and many other cultural genres are combined with multilingual lyrics representing the spoken languages of the Americas.”

The band cites such inspirations including Ozomatli, Spearhead, and the Police. They’re a great, new sound to hit the Minneapolis scene, and should add a lot of spice to the Afrifest Gala this Saturday evening. Quilombos takes the main stage of the Cedar Cultural Center at 8:00 PM. Doors open for the gala at 6:00 PM, and the main stage bands start at 7:00. Tickets for the AfriFest Gala are $10 at the door for five bands.

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