News From the Underground

Wine Class – March 1, 3PM – French Wines

Register for Class Here

If there’s one thing the French do well it’s wine….and speaking French, I suppose.

Let Kurt teach you about the regions, the varietals, and the processes the French have painstakingly perfected over centuries to deliver some of the world’s most distinguished and distinct wines.

Bonus points if  you show up looking like this guy…

No points awarded if you come looking like this guy.




Register for Class Here

Mike Nicolai – 2-6-15

Admission $8
**all proceeds go to the performer**

Click HERE to reserve admission today!

Though the trek down I-35 wasn’t unfamiliar to him, Mike Nicolai moved from Minnesota to Austin in 1994 and embarked on the quest of making music under his own name. A residency at the late, lamented Electric Lounge and allegiance with upcoming notable locals the Gourds and Damnations along with a growing collection of clever songs gained Nicolai a small but fervent fan base, and by the time he released his self-titled debut in 1997, he’d come into his own as a songwriter. The LP and 1998′s Balloon Race EP showcased a dry and insightful lyrical style that, when matched against deceptively simple arrangements and deft blue-collar guitar playing, made Nicolai a vessel of much wondering in the world of Austin music.  2000′s Woody Allen Stunt Footage took that rep to the next level, trading off between rambling narratives and rock songs.  Rooster Nudes was far better than this paper’s 2003 review would have you believe. It takes a bit of effort to peel back the layers of both his writing and song structure, though his latest effort, God Fatigue in the Post Atom Age, is arguably his most accessible to date.



This show will be a CD RELEASE for Mike’s new EP – Exercises for the Wasted and Down


Admission $8
**all proceeds go to the performer**

Click HERE to reserve admission today!

Aaron Kerr Residency

Tickets – $10 – $15
(includes admission and pizza or sandwich)


CLICK HERE to get your tickets today!

Aaron Kerr 1 eye - home shoot bw

Como Park Rock Cellist Launching New Series of Shows at Underground Cafe
ST. PAUL, MINN. – Rock cellist Aaron Kerr will perform a series of shows on the last Saturday of every month at the Underground Music Café on Hamline Avenue in Falcon Heights. At the January show, Aaron will perform solo; in February he will perform with Aaron Kerr’s Dissonant Creatures, followed by performances with the Modern Spark Trio and Heavy Pedal Cello in March and April respectively.

All shows begin at 7 p.m.


About Aaron Kerr:
Aaron is something of a fixture in Como Park. All four of his children attended Chelsea Heights Elementary School at one time or another, and he is frequently found riding his bike around the neighborhood, often with his children or his cello in a pedi-cab hauled behind the bike. Over the years, he has taught cello in an after-school program through the Northwest Como Rec Center and to several neighborhood kids via private lessons. Aaron also composes music, writes cello curriculum, has made numerous recordings and has traveled the country performing his unique brand of rock cello.

For more information about Aaron, visit

Tickets – $10 – $15
(includes admission and pizza or sandwich)

CLICK HERE to get your tickets today!

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LUX String Quartet 1-18-15



Lux String Quartet, a Twin Cities-based ensemble of savvy artists, strives to communicate their passion for performance as well as for educational and community outreach.  While playing for events such as weddings, they also prepare classical standards and champion new music in concert.  They desire to explore the boundaries of possibility for the string quartet form.

Matra 1- 17 – 15


Matra is a unique percussion quartet performing original compositions, arrangements, percussion ensemble repertoire and more. An original instrumentation representing their wide range of backgrounds in percussion, Matra at its core consists of vibraphone, marimba, tabla and drumset. While a specific genre is hard to ascribe, Matra’s influences reflect the varied personalities and musical backgrounds of its members. Listeners will hear artfully composed concert-style music, alongside jazz-infused song structure and improvisation, the rhythmic influence of North India, and even some subtle hints of prog-rock. Matra satisfies both the active and passive listeners, with rhythmically and harmonically complex passages alongside memorable melodies and grooves. As is the hallmark of any original group, genres and descriptions fail and the only way to truly experience the music is to listen!

Joyce Lyons sings Carmen McRae – Jan 16th

Tickets $20
includes pizza or sandwich

Click HERE to get your tickets today!

“Joyce meets Carmen”  An Intimate Conversation.
Join Joyce Lyons, along with Phil Aaron, Graydon Peterson, Zack Lozier and Jay Epstein as we celebrate the music and life of one of the greatest jazz singers of our time…Miss Carmen McRae!
It’s a musical journey that’s fun and full of surprises!
Joyce Lyons (2014) 120179R

Joyce Lyons, (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) is part singer, actress and comedian. Reared in Gaithersburg, Maryland, she found her way to Colorado Women’s College where she studied with one Durango’s favorite musicians, Tom MacCluseky. After college, Joyce headed to New York City, where she trod the streets for work; a little waitressing (very little), a little office work (more than a very little), a lot of singing and acting to boot. Joyce worked with some of New York’s finest musicians, from the exquisite writings of Dick Lieb, to the spellbinding arrangements of Lee Musiker and the auspicious and ever playful lyrics of bass accompanist Jay Leonhart. A proponent of the “lyric is everything,” Joyce began her master class at Fort Lewis College several years ago at the suggestion of Mr. MacCluskey. “There is no greater joy than when a student ‘gets it!’ “When they have connected to something deep inside and bring it forth in their performance.” Leaving in NYC in late 2009, Joyce has continued her musical/theatrical journey to the upper midwest of Minnesota, where she has developed a loyal following; performing at the renown “Dakota Jazz Club,” the intimate “Three Crows (where she packs the place) and is a new participant in the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival

MV5BMTA4NzgxNDc1MDZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDM2MjM0NjU@._V1__SX1594_SY813_Carmen McRae was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and her ironic interpretations of song lyrics that made her memorable. McRae drew inspiration from Billie Holiday, but established her own distinctive voice. She went on to record more than 60 albums, enjoying a rich musical career, performing and recording in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Tickets $20
includes pizza or sandwich

Click HERE to get your tickets today!

Szaszka 1-3-15

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Great music is destined to migrate.  Such is the case with the string band music from Transylvania that now can be found outside of Romania in such countries such as the United States.  It is a sincere form of appropriation that pays homage to a beautiful art form.  There is something more basic and human about music that transcends all boundaries — ideological, geographical, and political — that brings people together.

Daddy Squeeze and Mark Kreitzer 12-21-14

Banjo and Accordion Xmas 2014

“Daddy Squeeze” has been playing offbeat accordion music since 1987, when he won the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber, Nebraska. He has used the squeeze box for playing all kinds of music not normally associated with free-reed instruments, as well as standard accordion material.

Daddy Squeeze also enjoys mixing up styles and genres that don’t generally seem compatible. “Music out of context”, or “Ethno-clectic Bop” is the result of his gender-bending experiments with Celtic, Tex-Mex, Creole, Blues, Jazz, Scandinavian, Polka and pop music.

Greg Herriges and Elgin Foster – Jan. 2nd, 2015

Tickets – $10

CLICK HERE to get your ticket today!

Greg Herriges

“… a gifted musician who is able to bring the best
sounds from several cultures into one type of
intriguing music.” —Folkworld (Germany)
“Guitar renegade… Herriges always comes off as
native maestro, never slumming dilettante.
His technique on both guitar and bouzouki is
formidable, his feel for diverse cultures exemplary.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Greg Herriges plays an eclectic mix of original and traditional
world (“whirled”) music on guitar, voice, and bouzouki (Greek
lute), with an innovative approach honed by his studies of
Asian and other international styles. A virtuoso performer
and award-winning composer, his music and writing have
found international acclaim. Among other honors, Greg was
selected to receive the 2009-10 Bush Artist Fellowship for
Music Composition, which speaks volumes for his artistry
and dedication to music.

Elgin Foster

Elgin Foster has been playing guitar seriously over the past few years. He is currently engaged in studying fingerstyle guitar. Elgin has studied under Dan Schwartz who holds one of only six Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Performance of Fingerstyle Guitar; Grammy award winner and Prairie Home Companion guitar player Pat Donohue; McPhail Music School for music theory and performance with jazz guitarist Craig Anderson; and Dr. Ona Pinsonneault, a noted music theory and ear training specialist.

Over the years, Elgin has performed in local coffee houses; restaurants; wine tastings; Bed and Breakfasts; weddings; house concerts; church services and open-mic nights with the Minnesota Guitar Society. Elgin also was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition from congressman John Kline for his service to the community through benefit concerts to help the homeless, cancer victims and programs for single moms. Elgin has shared the stage with some of the artists who continue to inspire him including: Dean Magraw, Dan Schwartz, Ben Woolman, Dylan Mckinstry, Dr. Anna Vazquez, Ben Siems, Dan Neale, Elise Wright, Heather Garborg, Steve Lehto and John Wright.


Tickets – $10

CLICK HERE to get your ticket today!

Wine Class #4: Big Reds Jan. 4th, 2015

What do we mean when we say “Big Reds?”This?
or this?
imagesHow about this?
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Maybe this?

Hopefully not this

No… Of course we’re talking about this.
Red wine pouring down from a wine bottle (clipping path included)

Big red wines, perfect for the deep winter. Something to warm your bones and take away the chill, maybe help you forget that it’s dark ALL THE TIME.
Kurt will guide us through the world of big reds and help us find just the thing to carry us through to spring.

Ugly sweaters encouraged.