Minnesota Orchestra

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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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Minnesota Orchestra unveils 2014 “Live at Orchestra Hall” and Sommerfest concerts

Having just witnessed a richly entertaining musical show during the 2014 NBA All Star Game held in New Orleans featuring New Orleans own Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, and Dr. John, among others, I couldn’t help but think about our own musical entertainment on the horizon. Recently, I received a lovely 10-page booklet from the Minnesota Orchestra, which reminded me of the press release I had also received highlighting this new season’s music to be held at its newly renovated venue, which looks beautiful. For discerning season ticket holders and regular attendees, from the looks of things, prepare for a déjà vu moment. Indeed, the Minnesota Orchestra is back in business and unveiled their 2014 “Live at Orchestra Hall” concerts billed as a “broad spectrum series of popular music, jazz, world music, Broadway classics, movie scores,

comedy, and other genres — bringing under one umbrella several separate concert series previously offered by the orchestra.”

Live at Orchestra Hall includes shows with returning vocalist Bobby McFerrin and his band (April), a Nat King Tribute starring guitarist John Pizzarelli and Grammy Award-winning pianist Ramsey Lewis (April), who performed along with his band at the Dakota last year. Music supporters can also expect the return of two Grammy-Award winning trumpeters Chris Botti (March) and Pops Conductor Laureate Doc Severinsen (April). Continue Reading →

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Multitalented JD Steele keeps pushing the creative envelope

His latest project: a dance opera score blending Black and Indian genres 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


JD Steele is, of course, even if you have been hiding under a rock, a household name in Twin Cities’ music and, by extension, theatre. For that matter, he’s internationally renowned along with his siblings as a vocalist-songsmith, arranger and producer for The Steeles. Still not ringing a bell? In case that rock you’ve been under is out in West Abu Dhabi somewhere, can you say, to name just a few titles, The Gospel at Colonus (yes, the film, TV and stage production featuring Morgan Freeman), Two Queens One Castle starring Jevetta Steele (Mixed Blood Theatre) and The Young and the Restless (CBS)? So yes, Steele has established his artistry with a rock-solid, far-reaching reputation. Continue Reading →

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Businesswoman specializes in customized strategies


By Robin James

Contributing Writer


For organizations that want to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace, equip a workforce with new skills, and get better at offering ideas that transcend genres and categories, it isn’t easy. Millennium Consulting Group’s president Yvonne Cheek is up for initiating a dialogue on the subject. At a glance, she is a strategic change consultant. Along with her colleagues at Millennium Consulting Group in Minneapolis, Cheek helps her clientele broaden and shape their ways of thinking about designing, launching and reaping the benefits of new initiatives. The North Carolina native taught at both elementary and junior high schools in Greensboro, N.C., and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Puget Sound, where she served as the chair of music education, in Tacoma, Washington. Continue Reading →

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Spring starts strong with jazz bandleader concerts



It’s springtime, and romance is in the air. So, lately I got to thinking… Why is the music of New Orleans so romantic? Go check out Irvin Mayfield at Orchestra Hall on April 6 at 8 pm and find out. If you can’t make the gig, no worries. Continue Reading →

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