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Jazz for Thanksgiving weekend

Once the last plate has been put away and the leftovers Tupperwared, then what? Many area artists are staying in town and playing out this weekend. If you’re free tonight,  you can get an early start.

Tonight: Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub. Not jazz, but I have a solid excuse for including it here: the presence of jazz drummer Brian Blade, who’s part of this astonishing band. Led by Daniel Lanois —guitarist, composer, and record producer for artists including Dylan and U2 — Black Dub’s sound is (in Lanois’ words) “kind of a rock thing, steeped in the Jamaican culture of dub.” Blade has his own band, The Fellowship (with Kurt Rosenwinkel), and is part of Wayne Shorter’s quartet. The New York Times has called him “the most imaginatively supple drummer in jazz.” With Trixie Whitley (Chris Whitley’s daughter) on vocals, Jim Wilson on bass. Lanois protégé band Rocca Deluca (he produced their second album) will open. Here’s Black Dub performing “Silverado” from their self-titled debut. Passionate, rootsy, gutsy, haunting. Wednesday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m. (doors at 7), Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis ($22). Tickets online or call 612-338-2674 ext. 2.

Want jazz tonight? Head to St. Paul for the Phil Hey Quartet’s monthly appearance. With Dave Hagedorn on vibes, Phil Aaron on piano, Tom Lewis on bass, and Hey on drums. Satisfying, straight-ahead excellence. Here they are playing Charles Mingus’ “East Coasting.” Wednesday, Nov. 24, 9 p.m., Artists’ Quarter, in the basement of the Hamm Building in St. Paul ($5).

P.S. Most of the locally-filmed videos I link to are courtesy Don Berryman, whose jazz video channel, Jazzarazzi, is nearing 1 million hits. Check it out to see live performances from the AQ, the Dakota, MacPhail, Studio Z, and other venues around town.

Thursday-Friday: Davina and the Vagabonds. Jazz, blues, soul, rock, roots, cabaret, New Orleans: Davina Sowers and her band play them all with flair and gusto. This is one of the busiest bands in town, and one of the most fun. They’re becoming regulars at the Dakota for their proven ability to draw big crowds. Here they are on TPT’s “Minnesota Original.” Thursday, Nov. 25, 7 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis ($10).

Friday: JoAnnFunk. It’s the perfect way to end Black Friday: in the classy lobby of the St. Paul Hotel, sipping a cocktail, enjoying the music of JoAnn Funk on piano and vocals, Jeff Brueske on bass. Their book includes classics by Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole plus newer tunes by Norah Jones and James Taylor. Friday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m., The St. Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul (no cover).

Saturday: Josh Rawlings. Born in Wisconsin, keyboardist/composer Josh Rawlings grew up in the Twin Cities and moved to Seattle as a teen, where he studied at the Cornish College of the Arts and launched his performing career while still a student. He currently plays in several Seattle-based bands, heads his own trio, and has performed at Seattle’s prestigious Earshot Jazz Festival. Rawlings returns to his former stomping grounds for three shows starting Saturday at the Dakota. On Tuesday you can catch him at the Clown Lounge, on Wednesday at the Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI. He’ll be joined by Adam Meckler on trumpet, Graydon Peterson on bass, and Pete Hennig on drums. Saturday, Nov. 27, 11:30 p.m., Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis ($5).

Sunday: Patty and the Buttons. Sunday brunch with live jazz is like turkey with gravy. Button accordionist/vocalist Patrick Harison and his group (Tony Balluff on clarinet, Mark Kreitzer on guitar, Eric Johnson on sousaphone) will fill the lovely and intimate Aster Café with the sounds of New Orleans traditional jazz. Let someone else do the cooking. Sunday, Nov. 28, 11 a.m., Aster Cafe at St. Anthony Main, 125 SE Main St., Minneapolis (no cover). Or see Harison in a rare solo performance later that day at the Red Stag starting at 9 p.m.

Coming next week: A preview of Jenny Scheinman at the Walker and Mina Agossi at the Dakota, both on the same night (#$%^&!!!).

Pamela Espeland keeps a Twin Cities live jazz calendar, blogs about jazz at Bebopified and tweets about jazz on Twitter.

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