Mint Condition

Recent Articles

Lorber and company wow Dakota crowd

Jazz and R&B heavyweights come together for “special show”


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Last week was the first time I attended a Dakota Jazz Club late show. Several patrons that attended the earlier Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Shawn LaBelle, and Stokley Williams set on August 28 told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. They weren’t wrong. Billed as “a special show featuring four of the biggest names in contemporary jazz and R&B,” the four veteran artists easily could have done a solo performance at the downtown Minneapolis club, but as a quartet, they nonetheless rocked the house. LaBelle, who plays keyboards and bass, assembled the quartet: “It means a lot to have all these guys come in. Continue Reading →

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Mint Condition front man focusing more on production



By Jamal Denman

Online editor


Stokley Williams (known throughout the music industry on a first name basis — simply as Stokley) is a St. Paul native and the front man for one of the most talented, successful, and consistent R&B groups of the past 25 years, Mint Condition. Most artists would be completely satisfied with just being a part of a multi-platinum group that is highly respected by their contemporaries and an inspiration to many. But Stokley — as well as the rest of the members of the band — are expanding their musical horizons even further by putting more of a focus on producing and working with other artists. The members of the band, who have been together since the early 1980s, have plans to provide production work for new and established artists collectively and individually, and not just with other R&B artists. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities’ Own “Mint Condition” to perform at the 30th Annual Rondo Days Festival Celebration

R&B stalwarts Mint Condition will perform at the 30th Annual Rondo Days Festival Celebration on Saturday, July 20th at the Rondo Education Center’s Field at 560 Concordia Avenue in St. Paul. The festivities will begin with a 5K Walk & Run, a parade, and will be followed by the opening ceremonies featuring invited guests: Mayor Chris Coleman, Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter, Minnesota House of Representatives Rena Moran, and Rondo Days founders Marvin Roger Anderson and Floyd G. Smaller. In addition to Mint Condition, the entertainment will also feature other local artists, bands, dance and spoken-word performances. A schedule of entertainment and a listing of the artists is available at or

It was a banner year in 2012 for R&B’s hottest band, Mint Condition, who celebrated their 20th anniversary that year. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

Questlove DJ set 
Fri., Mar. 8, 9 pm

The 2nd Annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life! Sat., Mar. 9, 7 pm
First Avenue & 7th St. Entry
701 N. 1st Ave.,  Mpls., 612-338-8388 or
With a performances by “Princess” featuring Maya Rudolph (of SNL fame) and Gretchen Lieberum, Questlove (The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), André Cymone, Dez Dickerson, Dr. Fink, Alexander O’Neal, Stokley Williams (Mint Condition), Nicholas David (2012 season of The Voice) and more surprise celebrity guest artists. Continue Reading →

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Bobby Z presents 2nd annual benefit concert for heart health


Bobby Z’s organization My Purple Heart and the American Heart Association will present the 2nd 

Annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life! on Saturday, March 9, 8 pm, at First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Robert Rivkin, a.k.a. Bobby Z, is the former drummer for Prince & the Revolution. This event will feature actress Maya Rudolph, drummer ?uestlove of the Roots, Stokley Williams of Mint Condition, vocalist Alexander O’Neal and many other guests. A portion of the proceeds will benefit My Purple Heart and the American Heart Association for continued heart-health education. Continue Reading →

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Mint Condition: New CD an improvement, but not a return to glory days

Music @ the Speed of Life is an improvement on 2008’s E-Life, a static, paint-by-number disappointment from a band renowned for fresh, even innovative fare. But, not by much. With hints of Guy, Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang, Stokely Williams (frontman-vocalist-drums), O’Dell (guitar), Lawrence El (keys), Jeff Allen (sax, keys) and Ricky Kinchen (bass) haven’t returned to the form that made them international standard bearers of contemporary R&B. They have, however, somewhat returned to credibility. Intermittently, Williams’ vocals regain some sense of urgency and the songwriting again is fairly imaginative. Continue Reading →

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A season of musical romance for jazz lovers on CD, in concert




When I think about the reasons I first fell in love with jazz, I think of tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Among some of my most prized recordings, signed copies of his albums Unconditional (Warner Bros., 2001) and For You (Warner Bros., 1998) are included. We met in Chicago. Whalum was kind enough to grant me an interview after one of his concerts. His sound has always come across to me as extremely soulful and honest. Continue Reading →

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