Recent Articles

Brian McKnight Returning To the Dakota

By Raymond Jackson
Contributing Writer


Soul and R&B recording artist Brian McKnight is returning to the Dakota Nightclub in Minneapolis April 19 and Easter Sunday, April 20 for four performances. The Twin Cities are high on Mr. McKnight’s love to be here lists, as he comes here a couple of times annually, with some of his highlight performances during the winter months. He is often seen eating at some of his favorite Downtown Minneapolis restaurants when the Dakota closes. Having been nominated 16 times for a Grammy Music Award, he has still not won, and that is long overdue. The singer/songwriter was born in Buffalo, New York, and he began seeking music as a child singing with his church choir, and later gaining the ability to play eight instruments, making him one of the strongest adult urban contemporary R&B artists. Continue Reading →

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Get ready for a carnival of musical delights.



Heading into this weekend and the next, an assortment of upcoming jazz related shows are set to take place at the Dakota. Get ready for a carnival of musical delights. Actually, it was trumpeter Russell Gunn who was to help kick things off at the Dakota last night, along with his quartet and vocalist Dionne Farris, but the gig was postponed. Farris and Gunn have a new live album, Dionne Get Your Gunn, which Farris released on her independent label, Free and Clear Records.  

One of my all-time Gunn favorites featuring him on electric trumpet and flugelhorn is his Live in Atlanta: Ethnomusicology, Vol. Continue Reading →

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Memorable musical moments from 2013


People have a huge thirst for connection. How well a song or an experience stays with you can be as easy as answering the question, does this art have resonance, or not? If I were to put together a musically inspired compilation of this year’s wide sampling of recorded music that I’ve heard and the live music that I’ve experienced this year, it would include an amazing group of talented artists who continue to challenge themselves as they give us something creative and personal. As I surf the memories of my mind from this year I can’t help but start at the beginning. To kick off 2013 in spectacular fashion was Minneapolis native and Blue Note Records artist Jose James who performed music
from his album No Beginning No End. Continue Reading →

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Marcus Roberts Trio performing at the Dakota










On Wednesday, November 6, for two sets only, the Marcus Roberts Trio returns to the Dakota stage to bring its well-known one-of-a-kind virtuosity to local audiences. And for a group that was founded in 1995, they’ve come a long way in 18 years. If you’ve been lucky enough to witness this trio in action over the last few years, consider yourself well aware of what these sets might be like this time around. If you’re planning to see Roberts for the first time, prepare to thoroughly enjoy yourself. This concert will no doubt be one of the best presented by the Dakota this year. Continue Reading →

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Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Tour stops at the Dakota



By Charles Hallman

Staff writer


The energy he displayed during a recent show in town truly belies Billy Cobham’s age. The 69-year-old jazz fusion drummer has been on the road with his Spectrum 40 tour.  “We have been accelerating as we went along. We started in St. Petersburg [Florida] then went to Atlanta; up to Seattle, down to Portland then on to to Albuquerque . . Continue Reading →

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Local legendary jazz club closing its doors



Yesterday it was announced on Minnesota Public Radio that the Artists’ Quarter jazz club located in St. Paul is closing at the end of year—on New Year’s Eve to be exact. The owner and jazz drummer Kenny Horst cites a recent hike in rent as the main reason for the closing. The club is well-known as one of the last pure jazz clubs in the Upper Midwest.  Its closing highlights a growing concern among jazz artists and jazz purists: a lack of opportunities to perform and enjoy real jazz. The AQ, as it is affectionately known by many of its fans, opened in 1977; the establishment closed in 1990, then reopened under Horst’s leadership in 1995. Continue Reading →

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The Artist’s Way: Sarah White on Music, Motherhood, and Her New Band



By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
 “You can always break rules and challenge limits. You can always be the boss of your art, because it comes from the soul. I really love when the art becomes the boss of me and moves and molds me into its process,” says Minneapolis native and soul musician Sarah White. We are at a Northeast Cafe on a graciously sunny September afternoon. She is squeezing our interview in between her environmental science homework and meeting her oldest daughter, Iza, at the bus stop. Continue Reading →

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United Trumpet Summit comes to the Dakota


By Robin James
Contributing Writer


For one-night only on September 11 (sets at 7 & 9) at the Dakota, jazz fans are in for a rare treat with a performance featuring the United Trumpet Summit consisting of some of today’s most respected and celebrated modern trumpet players including Randy Brecker, Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr.

You may recall trumpeter Randy Brecker performed with the JazzMN orchestra not long ago, and Jeremy Pelt appeared at the Artists’ Quarter a few years back. It’s good to welcome them back to the Twin Cities in a whole new setting. Brecker is the brother of the late influential saxophonist Michael Brecker. The versatile musician is at home playing everything from jazz, and rock, to R&B. And like Pelt, Brecker also played with the Mingus Big Band. Continue Reading →

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Met Council’s commits to fairness for all

Diversity director Kirkpatrick ‘really proud’ of accomplishments

By Dwight Hobbes 

Contributing Writer



The Metropolitan Council has been responsible to serve, in the region, Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Washington, Carver, Scott and Dakota counties. The 17-member municipal entity, with main offices located in St. Paul, is charged to provide essential service critical to the public good, working with local communities to, among other duties, operate the region’s largest transportation system, collect and treat wastewater and provide affordable housing opportunities for citizens of low and moderate income. Accordingly, it is no small matter that such a body includes an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, accountable to ensure, as the Council’s Pledge of Nondiscrimination states, “access to all our programs, services and benefits without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or socioeconomic status.”

Heading up that department over the past five years is Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Director Wanda Kirkpatrick. “When I took this job,” she states, “the Metropolitan Council [was] well on our way to having diversity, inclusion, affirmative action, [and] equality opportunity be a part of everything we did. Continue Reading →

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Marcus Miller: Music a reflection of revolution, a link to the past


We are pleased to present part-two of our interview with world-class bassist Marcus Miller. He performed with his band at the Dakota on Sept 11-12. His new album is Renaissance on Concord Records.  

MSR: As it’s been referenced in the press material, you feel a change is coming, a changing of the guard, a revolution of sorts — can you explain what that means in your opinion? MM: I think people just talk about music by itself, but music never really exists by itself: Music is just a reflection of what’s going on in the world. Continue Reading →

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