Recent Articles

Rebirth Brass Band gets Dakota crowd on their feet

Do we have an agreement?,” asked lead trumpeter and Rebirth Brass Band (RBB) member Chadrick Honre at the beginning of the band’s second marathon set at the Dakota last Thursday night. He asked the audience if they were ready for some New Orleans music, if they were ready to have a good time and dance, and then encouraged them to get up and do it. The packed house, consisting of just about every age and ethnic demographic, honored that agreement.  

For almost a full 90 minutes, eight songs, and one encore later, the eight piece Grammy-winning ensemble that’s been entertaining music supporters around the globe since 1983 stepped off the stage as if they had just left a boxing match and won by TKO. From start to finish people were dancing and singing in the aisles. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Fringe Festival presents 169 shows in Minneapolis

The Midwest’s largest performing arts festival opens July 31
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Midwest’s largest performing arts festival, opens July 31 in 19 venues around Minneapolis. The festival will play host to 169 shows of live performance, with each show performing at least five times. The result is 878 performances, running concurrently throughout the 11-day festival. Size is not the festival’s only unique quality, however. Every show in the festival’s lineup is chosen by random lottery. Continue Reading →

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Highlights of the Minnesota Orchestra 2014-15 season





The Minnesota Orchestra has announced plans for the 2014-15 season of three series: Live at Orchestra Hall, Holiday and Family Concerts.  

Here are some season highlights:

Live at Orchestra Hall, offers a varied series of popular music, jazz, Broadway classics, movie scores, comedy and other genres, led by Sarah Hicks, Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall. The Live at Orchestra Hall and Holiday series will include Grammy-winning trumpeters Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz Irvin Mayfield, Pops Conductor Laureate Doc Severinsen, and Orchestra musician Charles Lazarus. Featured vocalists include Ann Hampton Callaway (April 2015) in a first time program saluting singer-actress Barbra Streisand. Jazz will be well-represented in concerts by two world-renowned bands—the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Music Director and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guest vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, (December) and Preservation Hall Jazz Band with special guest and soloist Irvin Mayfield (March 2015) on trumpet. Continue Reading →

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Rain couldn’t stop the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival

“I’m glad we didn’t go to the park. We’re stuck in here together,” Dianne Reeves said at the end of her scorching hot set inside the Amsterdam Bar and Hall on Saturday night, June 28, to close the 16th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival in St. Paul. It’s estimated that 20,000 attended the free festivities that took place at various outdoor and indoor locations. With the rain on Saturday came a change of venue for the Reeves concert, from outdoor to indoor, but despite all that, it turned out to be a good thing. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

Rock the Garden 2014
Featuring De La Soul, Lizzo, Best Coast, Dessa, Valerie June, and more. Sat.-Sun., June 21-22, 3-10 pm

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Go to http://rockthegarden2014.com or call 612-375-7600 for more information


Ordway Summer Dance Series: R&B/Soul
Featuring music by Ray Covington and the Maxx Band. Thu., Jun. 19, 5:30 pm

Rice Park, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul

Go to www.ordway.org/summerdance for more information. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spots

TU Dance

Join founders Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands for an unforgettable 10th anniversary dance concert featuring master Alvin Ailey’s duet Twin Cities from his legendary The River (1970) as well as repertory favorites and world premiere, a new commissioned work by Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist Hiroki Morinoue. Sat., May 10, 7:30 pm

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul

Go to www.ordway.org or call 651-224-4222 for more information


Sound Horizon: Kevin Beasley

Exploring the space between live sound and visual art, the fourth season of Sound Horizon returns this spring. This in-gallery music series presents three U.S. composers and solo sonic adventurers selected by celebrated visual artist Jim Hodges. Thur., May 8, 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm performances

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Go to www.walkerart.org or call 612-375-7600


Mahmoud El-Kati

The author discusses his new book, The Myth of Race, the Reality of Racism. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spots

Sights, Sounds, and Soul:
Twin Cities through the Lens of Charles Chamblis

From family reunions to the nightclub scene, there is no one who documented the Twin Cities Black community like Charles Chamblis. Affectionately called “The Pictureman,” he had a passion for photography and a knack for being everywhere at the right time. Tue.-Sun., Through Jan. 4, 2015

Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

Go to www.mnhs.org or call 651-259-3000 for more information


Carnage the Executioner

Fri., May 2, 11:30 pm

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

Call 612-332-1010 or go to www.dakotacooks.com


PACER Center Benefit

Featuring Diana Ross

Silent and live auctions

Sat., May 3, Silent auction, 6 pm; live auction, 8 pm; performance, 8 pm

Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spots


Passing Strange

With disparate styles that range from ‘60’s Europop to ‘70’s punk to ‘80’s electronica to gospel, soul, and funk to musical theatre and witha nod to James Brown, this 2008 Tony Award winner is a play within a rock concert. The show follows an emerging African American musician from his garage-band days in Los Angeles to coffeehouses in Amsterdam. Apr. 25 — May 11, Wed.-Sat., 7:30 pm; Sun., 3 pm

Mixed Blood Theatre, Alan Page Auditorium, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis Tickets: $0 — First come, first served; $20 — guaranteed admission. Go to www.mixedblood.com or contact the box office at 612-338-6131

for more information





(album release) 

With Allan Kingdom, Dem Atlas, DJ Neviator. Continue Reading →

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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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Hometown talent José James returns to the Cedar

José James and Kris Bowers return to the Cedar Cultural Center on Monday, April 21. Consider this an invitation to enjoy more new music from two young and gifted musicians with new albums.


But this is not just a fantastic reintroduction of two talented artists. It’s a fantastic way to explore music from two men who are potentially on their way to becoming huge influential musicians in the future.  



In January 2013, James played an album-release show with Bowers on keys, but this time around, the Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-based vocalist will play a pre-album release show to support his upcoming June 10 release, While You Were Sleeping on Blue Note Records, with Bowers opening the gig. His new album is Heroes + Misfits on Concord Records. Continue Reading →

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