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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Fall 2017 Artists

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Maud Hixson

Thursday, September 7 7:30 PM

MAUD HIXSON is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. She made her Guthrie Theater (Mpls.) debut in 2010, performed at the New York Cabaret Convention in 2011 at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, and in 2012 appeared in concert with composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett as part of the Midtown Jazz Series in New York.


Ray Bonneville

Monday, September 11, 7:30 PM

Austin TX Singer-songwriter and Red House recording artist RAY BONNEVILLE is a blues poet whose acclaimed performance groove is the product of a unique, electric guitar style, unrivaled harmonica tone, smoky vocal and unwavering foot percussion. Bonneville’s blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired style sometimes draws comparisons to JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois. Bonneville has earned many accolades including a Juno Award for his 1999 album, Gust of Wind. His post-Katrina ode, “I Am the Big Easy,” earned the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award, and in 2012, Bonneville won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge.

The Dumpy Jug Bumpers

Sunday, September 17, 7:30 PM

The DUMPY JUG BUMPERS are a string band that brings back the reckless sounds of country blues, ragtime, and jug band music from the era of 78-RPM records. They transform any stage into a barrelhouse romp, performing on a menagerie of stringed instruments and hand made percussion accompaniment. 

Dusty Heart

Tuesday, September 19, 7:30 PM 

DUSTY HEART merges rich vocal harmonies with intimate layers of guitar, fiddle and banjo. Barbara Jean and Molly Dean are two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles. The pair met in the bustling Minneapolis music scene, became fast friends, and decided to join forces crafting a sound that bridges the diverse musical worlds of roots, indie, and folk

Heartland Marimba Quartet

Monday, October 16, 7:30 PM

The HEARTLAND MARIMBA QUARTET is an ensemble of four dynamic solo performers. The ensemble tours the nation regularly and is featured as artist-in-residence annually each summer at the Heartland Marimba Festival Academy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The performers are accomplished and award winning solo players. The group was formed in order to provide a strong presence and public image year-round for the Heartland Marimba Festival, and to forge a path of gainful opportunities for professional marimba players. 

Jack Klatt

Thursday, October 19, 7:30 PM

JACK KLATT, a self-taught musician, has paid his dues traveling America, Europe and Canada with his guitar at his side. From bar rooms to living rooms to street corners, Klatt carries the torch of his inspiration proudly, following in the tradition of Utah Phillips, Blind Willie MacTell, and Townes Van Zant.

Davina and The Vagabonds

Saturday, October 28, 7:30 PM 

DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. This rollicking quintet is held together by Sowers’ keyboard playing, with acoustic bass, drums, and a spicy trumpet and trombone horn section. The group’s sound and emphasis on acoustic instruments is novel to both blues and jazz worlds with influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. The Vagabonds have appeared at festivals in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Sighisoara, Romania; Sierre, Switzerland; Kemi, Finland; the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the 2013 and 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival, Vache de Blues in France, and North Sea Jazz Festival. 

Nooky Jones

Thursday, November 2, 7:30 PM

NOOKY JONES is a six-piece group from Minneapolis that blends soul, jazz, R&B, and funk to create a warm, deeply grooving sound. The band is composed of some of the most forward thinking players in Minneapolis performing some of Minnesota’s freshest music featuring sophisticated, seductive and smooth neo-soul music. 

Phil Markowitz

Saturday, November 4, 7:30 PM

PHIL MARKOWITZ has been a talented pianist for decades. He began playing piano when he was four. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Markowitz formed a fusion group in 1973 called Petrus. Three years later he officially moved to New York City, where he worked with Joe Chambers, Toots Thielemans, Miroslav Vitous, and others. Most significant was his time as a member of the Chet Baker Quartet which resulted in four European tours and several recordings. Markowitz spent 1983-1985 with the Mel Lewis Orchestra and was part of a trio with Al DiMeola and Airto Moreira (which was later expanded to a quintet) that recorded a set for Manhattan. In 1987 Markowitz became a permanent member of the Bob Mintzer Big Band, and in 1990 he began an association with Dave Liebman resulting in a number of recordings. Quite active as a jazz educator, Markowitz has also recorded and/or worked with Phil Woods, Michael Brecker, Stan Getz and Lionel Hampton

Erik Koskinen

Saturday, November 18, 7:30 PM

ERIK KOSKINEN has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. With experience stemming from years of traveling north to south and coast-to-coast, Koskinen taps those adventures and encounters in his third album, "America Theatre." Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Erik Koskinen “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter ”, and Jim Walsh of MinnPost writes "The real deal: Erik Koskinen's authenticity comes through." Regional favorites CITY MOUSE will open the show