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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Department of Music

Fall 2014 Artists

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The Last Revel

Thursday, September 11, 7:30 PM


Consisting of three members, The Last Revel uses traditional folk-minded three part harmonies with honest and meaningful lyrics to deliver a passionate and soul stirring performance. With a serious rock attitude and raw traditional instrumentation, band members pride themselves on an unrelenting work ethic and a deep hunger to write, perform, and entertain.


The Last Revel is known for crafting a rowdy live performance that inspires crowds to move to every tune. The Last Revel honed their style at a weekly open mic night in Southern Minnesota. Their performance spread by word of mouth until the bar was at maximum capacity every Thursday. When the dance floor was full, folks danced on tables. The Last Revel strives for such wild performances at every show.


The Last Revel received great response from press and fans alike from their first official recording entitled, “The Mason Jar EP” in February of 2013. With their debut full-length release entitled “UPROOTED” in February of 2014, The Last Revel's momentum continues to grow and the band is poised to take their sound to anywhere that welcomes their own brand of lyric driven, foot moving, folk music.

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet with Flamenco dance Colette Illarde

Sunday, September 14, 7:30 PM


The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet offers first-rate repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Baroque to Spanish, Latin American, and Romantic, to highly imaginative existing and commissioned contemporary works.

Quartet members are Joseph Hagedorn, Maja Radovanlija, Wade Oden and Ben Gateno


In 2006, the quartet began a fascinating new concert collaboration with Flamenco dancer Colette Illarde, featuring an original production of Six Pieces on Spanish Folksongs by the great Spanish composer Enrique Granados. With music arranged by the MGQ, the choreography by Ms. Illarde reflects the extraordinary vitality of Spanish culture and includes Spanish regional and folk dancing, classical ballet and flamenco.

Jeff Bartlett, Artistic Director of Minneapolis' Southern Theater offered the following review after two sold out performances in March of 2007:

"Six Pieces on Spanish Folksongs was beautifully played by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet; the music exquisitely illuminated by Collette Illarde's choreography.
Ms. Illarde drew upon her thorough knowledge of Spanish culture, creating individual and distinct worlds for each of the songs and bringing these worlds to life through her precise and passionate dance."

Following the great success of the premiere performances in 2007, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet and Colette Illarde have collaborated further, expanding their concert repertoire to include music by another great Spanish composer, Joaquin Rodrigo.

Steve Kaul and the Brass Kings

Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 PM


Steve Kaul and The Brass Kings play their old-time instruments in very unexpected ways. With metal-bodied resophonic guitars, washtub bass, washboard and fiddle they chart the Bermuda Triangle of old-time, middle-eastern and bluegrass music. Shifting from jug-band chugging into wild improvisational ragas they blend folk music traditions into a pulsing groove.

Speaking in Tongues

Sunday, September 21, 7:30 PM


Speaking in Tongues is an eclectic musical ensemble featuring the Chinese pipa performer Gao Hong along with multi-instrumentalist Sowah Mensah, bassist Enrique Toussaint, and percussionist Marc Anderson.


Speaking in Tongues is comprised of four astonishing musicians from four different cultures with four native tongues. With superb musicianship and an infectious camaraderie, Speaking in Tongues creates an environment that is engaging and exhilarating. The collective sound of the group draws on so many sources that listeners from all walks of life can connect easily. The four outstanding musicians blend music from four different cultures on a stage full of instruments from all over the world. The result—a concert experience which is spellbinding, entertaining, and unprecedented.


When considering the individual voices, one is struck by the truly distinctive quality of this music and the level of skill and musical maturity required to shape it into the spirited and the coherent musical expression that it is. Their music has been described as a West African drum ensemble driving along under the butterfly wings of an Asian melody, the romance of Brazilian jazz orchestrated with Middle Eastern drums, and folk music from a new world. Rich compositions set up by free roaming improvisations lead the listener through open landscapes of gentle rustlings and sparse instrumentation and then, with a subtle turn, plunge them into thick forests populated by percussion and bass.


An Evening with Slaid Cleaves

Monday, September 29, 7:30 PM


The music of Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Slaid Cleaves is rooted in country and traditional folk songs, but it is unusual enough to have held interest in a sea of singer/songwriters across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. While he released a handful of recordings during the early '90s, he gained significant notice with “No Angel Knows,” which was released on Rounder's Philo subsidiary in 1997.


Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter’s latest 2013 CD release, Still Fighting the War, spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves’ music delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled. Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout this release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors.


Communist Daughter

Thursday, October 2, 7:30 PM


A few years ago, Communist Daughter frontman and leader, John Solomon, walked away from music. After struggling with addiction and a brief stint in jail he broke up his critically acclaimed band and moved to a small town in Wisconsin. And supposedly that was that.


Even though Solomon left music, music never left him. After a long hiatus, he called some old friends to come to Wisconsin and record a demo for a new album: Steve Yasgar, the former drummer of The Swiss Army and Askeleton, Jonathan Blaseg of The Blinds, and former Friends Like These member Adam Switlick. The musicians moved to a small Wisconsin town where Johnny had met Molly Moore, to record the demos for “Soundtrack to the End”.


Solomon and company have already started to reclaim their spot in the music world with glowing reviews from critics all over the United States. Twin Cities music fans have been flocking to Communist Daughter shows to be there from the beginning as Johnny and the newly formed Communist Daughter step out onto the national stage.


A reenergized Solomon has assembled an Indie/Pop group worth taking note of now. Solomon was recently named one of Five Emerging Artists to Watch by Avid, the makers of ProTools and M-Audio.


The April Verch Band

Sunday, October 12, 7:30 PM


April Verch has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singer/songwriter. Her ninth album, “Bright Like Gold”, captures a woman who’s fleshed out her identity and is in full command of her gifts, a woman who’s grown from a prodigy into an enduring artist—one of music’s most unforgiving public transitions—with grace and grit to spare.


The April Verch Band, rounded out by bassist and clawhammer banjo player Cody Walters and guitarist Hayes Griffin, who has a Masters in jazz improv from the New England Conservatory, is an energetic, virtuosic, tradition-celebrating outfit, not to mention one that’s not soon forgotten when they depart the stage. It doesn’t hurt that the thrilling grand finale involves Verch fiddling and step dancing, and often executing two entirely different intricate rhythmic patterns at once.


It’s a wonder to behold Verch pulling off those pristine double-time triplets with her feet, and the myriad other ways she’s made good on the promise she showed at a tender age by becoming an artist in touch with roots and in her element. She won't be the one to mention her championship titles to you, or even the fact that she represented Canada's fiddling tradition by performing in the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.


Rob Meany and Terramara

Sunday, November 2, 7:30 PM


Terramara creates piano-based pop-rock, melding smart songcraft and clever lyrics with catchy melodies, tight grooves, rich harmonies and an edgy, rock sensibility. For its third full-length release, “Dust & Fiction”, the band teamed with producer Jon Herchert to create its most sonically rich album yet.


Melodic songwriting meets quirky, sonically adventurous production. While retaining much of Terramara's signature sound, this new collection of powerpop gems is more guitar-driven, with shades of ambient and electronic sounds in the mix. “Dust & Fiction” contains a variety of moods and styles, some serious, some playful, but always catchy.


Minneapolis-based Terramara is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Rob Meany, who formed the group in 1999. Independently, they have released three albums of original material and have developed a loyal following over the years. They have won several awards for their music and performances. Critics and fans alike often compare them to rock giants such as Steely Dan, Ben Folds, and Sting & The Police.


The Chastity Brown Band

Saturday, November 8, 7:30 PM @ Hooligans Pub, Mankato


Throw all the genres and hyphenates together you want to describe her – indie, roots, soul, rock, blues, country – they are correct, and also not enough. Chastity Brown writes songs that are carried deep in the American psyche, the hunger, desperation and confidence that runs through our times.


Coming from Tennessee to Minnesota, touring the country, touring Europe, she has had half her own lifetime and million lifetimes gone before her to concoct her powerful sound.


She's been hailed by NPR, CMT, American Songwriter, The London Times, and Paste Magazine as a songwriter to watch, and has recently shared the stage with Michael Kiwanuka, Mike Doughty, and Leon Russell. Chastity pulls from a diverse cross-section of talent for her live shows, playing with Robert Mulrennan (guitarist/producer), keyboardist deVon Gray (Brother Ali), bass player Jef Sundquist, and percussionist Greg Schutte (Mickey Hart), resulting in restless, electrifying and enveloping performances.


The Lowry Hill Chamber Players

Sunday, November 9, 7:30 PM


Comprised of some of the regions best collaborative artists, musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra and the Chiarina Piano Quartet gather for an evening of superb classical music performance.


The Jimmys

Saturday, November 22, 7:30 PM @ Hooligans Pub, Mankato


Madison blues powerhouse group The Jimmys comes at you with the Midwest’s finest talent. The group’s sound features killer horns, greasy guitars, funky keys, and a rhythm section with the heart and soul the size of Brazil. The Jimmy play blues and everything else between.


The Jimmys “2011 WAMI Best Keyboardist” Jimmy Voegeli brings his vocal and compositional talents to the forefront of the band. Supported by blues icon Perry Weber (guitar) and rock ‘n roll drumming legend Mauro Magellan (Georgia Satellites) the band would seem complete, but fan favorite Johnny Wartenweiler rounds out this all star rhythm section on bass. The Jimmys sound comes from the horn section led by Pete Ross (alto sax) and Darren Sterud (trombone) with Chad Whittinghill (trumpet) and Bryan Husk (bari/tenor sax). These four musicians have shared the stage with former James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield, BB King, Roscoe Mitchell, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Davina And The Vagabonds, Pinetop Perkins, and Trombone Shorty.