6 cool things in music this week include Harry Styles, Questlove, Davina & the Vagabonds and Delfeayo Marsalis


Six cool music tips this week, from two perspectives:

Laura Pugh, Golden Valley:

1 Davina and the Wanderers, the Dakota. Music lovers were eager to be in the Dakota’s welcoming space for its inaugural shows in 2021, and Davina and her team satisfied them with original material and covers. A set of songs from 1945, when the world was emerging from the shadows of WWII, was a theme that resonated that day.

2 Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Twin Cities Jazz Fest Live. The Louisiana veteran came to Minnesota to spread the Zydeco gospel. The contagious rhythms made it easy to get up and try out those rusty dance steps.

3 Taiko Arts Midwest, Lyndale Gardens. Ensō Daiko members Jeff Ellsworth, Craig Schultz and Hiroshi Yoshino mixed new and traditional rhythmic drum pieces with impressive choreographed movements. The family performance, with Richfield Lake as a backdrop, included both a history of Taiko art and some audience participation.

Star Tribune reviewer Jon Bream:

Harry Styles, Xcel Energy Center. Part natural showman, part boastful rock star, part affable gentleman, he was a total charmer, dancing with exaggerated movements, giving advice in response to a fan’s hand-made sign, praising the courage of a spectator in a Packer T-shirt and grabbing flags, flowers and feathered boas thrown on stage. The styles had all the right moves.

Questlove, Paisley Park. The documentary he made, “Summer of Soul,” was musically and culturally informative, and the Q&A offered in-depth observations on Prince and Black culture, but his DJ set of rehearsal recordings of Prince was an amazing nightcap for a program filled with funk, especially in Prince’s House on this sound system.

Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Twin Cities Jazz Festival. His conversations and song titles (“Fauci’s Science”, “Notorious RBG”, “Blues for Breonna”) provided social commentary while his trombone and band, notably pianist Christian Sands, delivered moving and sophisticated sounds to Mears Park.

To contribute: popmusic@startribune.com


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