Super Bowl and upcoming shows will provide a feast for music lovers

The James on Jazz journey continues in 2018.  It’s hard to believe we started this journey back in 2000.  thank you for hanging in there.

There’ve been some pauses along the way, nevertheless, it’s always an adventure and richly entertaining for all of those on board.

Lately, the talk of the town is the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s about to get lit.
Sheila E (Courtesy of Super Bowl LIVE)

Indeed, there’ll be a bright spotlight shining on the Twin Cities, with plenty to see and do for a truly unforgettable time. There’s definitely a good reason to be optimistic, and SUPER excited — not only about the Super Bowl but about the entire year to come. I’m ready, are you?

Our very own Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have curated a colorful variety of concerts showcasing the Minnesota Sound and music featuring such acts as Sheila E., Morris Day and The Time, Mint Condition, the Sounds of Blackness, and Idina Menzel, among others.

The entertainment kicks off on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis on Friday. We can expect to hear from the New Power Generation with Andre Cymone, Stokley Williams and Mint Condition, Dessa, and more.

Stokley on the drums (James L. Stroud, Jr./MSR News)

There’s also a lot happening at Paisley Park in Chanhassen with Justin Timberlake (this year’s Super Bowl half-time act) and company in what’s sure to be an exciting one-of-a-kind line-up. I’d like to see Lenny Kravitz show-up.

I will always remember seeing him perform with Prince at Paisley during the New Year’s celebration years ago. We partied like it was 1999 because it was 1999! What if Bruno Mars showed up…with Jay-Z? How about a Mint Condition and Timberland match-up? Wild thoughts?

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots will trade spaces and switch from the Big Apple in favor of the Minne-Apple and go live for a post-game Tonight Show at the Orpheum Theater. Timberlake will join Fallon to mark the special occasion.

Maybe the two will decide to sing and dance under the cherry spoon at the Walker Art Center’ sculpture garden? Just another wild thought…or suggestion? There’s no telling what they might do.

I’m also excited about New Orleans drummer, vocalist/bandleader, Jamison Ross and his new album, All for One. Looking forward to checking out more music at Orchestra Hall and by the Minnesota Orchestra, among other jazz-related acts this year.

Did you know the Orchestra is set to tour South Africa in August? Did you also know they received a 2018 Grammy nomination for their Mahler 5 recording? Visit, to view their calendar.

Look out for Hamilton star, actor/singer/author and new dad, Leslie Odom, Jr whose rescheduled appearance has doubled due to popular demand, as an added second performance takes place on March 23.

He has been tapped to sing “American the Beautiful” at Super Bowl 52, and has released a new book entitled, Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning (Feiwel & Friends). Do you remember when he sang for the Obamas at the White House?

Other spectacular March happenings include a huge extended birthday celebration planned for the great Charles Lloyd at the Dakota. Have you ever had the pleasure of listening to him play his flute live? Don’t miss your chance! Stay tuned for exclusive details.

Lately, I can’t seem to stop listening to Obama’s Favorite Songs of 2017 on Spotify. “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled, “Broken Clocks” by SZA, “Unforgettable” by French Montana, “Blessed” by Daniel Caesar, and “Havana” by Camila Cabello, all nice choices that’ll make you want to join the party.

Robin James welcomes reader responses to