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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Department of Music Announces Spring 2017 Performance Series

In addition to professional artist series, 13 student ensemble concerts and faculty recitals will be offered.

2017-05-01
Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 1-4-2017

Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series announces its spring schedule of visiting artist concert events. In addition to the professional artist series, the Department of Music will offer 13 student ensemble concerts and faculty recitals over the course of the spring semester.

The Performance Series offers contemporary and ethnically diverse music featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists. The series also offers instruction through master classes, clinics and workshops benefitting the university community, Mankato area residents and K-12 students.

Spring semester Performance Series concerts and artist highlights include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 21: New York City a capella group Blue Jupiter has worked with famed producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson and performed on Oprah and VH1's "Save the Music." Blue Jupiter is featured on Lifetime's Reality TV Series "Pitch Slapped," which airs in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Monday, Jan. 23: SONSAX has maximized all the different qualities and possibilities of the saxophone and percussion, instruments that due to their versatility allow performing all different styles and rhythms. The Montreal International Jazz Festival describes the Costa Rican band as a "world saxophone quartet" in every sense of word.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7: Mumblin’ Drew And Liz Draper bring back the sounds of country blues, ragtime, and jug band music from the era of 78 RPM records. Liz Draper performs with a number of groups in Minneapolis and tours nationally with the Grammy Award winning Okee Dokee Brothers.
  • Thursday, Feb. 9: Scottie Miller was inducted into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame for his contributions to blues music and heritage. The Scottie Miller Band features sterling silver vocals, passionate and hope-filled lyrics, and a funky rhythm section surrounded by powerful electric guitar work.
  • Sunday, Feb.12: The Nooky Jones Band 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.
  • Thursday, Feb. 16: Piano legend Davell Crawford (pictured) has been called The Prince of New Orleans piano. The embodiment of New Orleans’ spirit, genius, and tradition, Crawford is recognized as “one of the most talented musicians alive.” For three decades, Crawford has been electrifying audiences worldwide with his skill on the piano. Crawford's mastery spans beloved Louisiana classics to work fusing his influences in jazz, blues, gospel, zydeco, soul, funk and beyond.
  • Sunday, Feb. 19: Charles Asche has experienced a distinguished teaching career of over 30 years and has been a member of the faculties of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Claremont College in Los Angeles, and the International Institute for Young Musicians. Asche has been a member of the music faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara since 1991. He has performed internationally as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician.
  • Thursday, Feb. 23: The Twin Cities Hot Club represents Minnesota in the burgeoning revival of gypsy jazz originally popularized by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France. They recreate not only the famous la pompe that distinguishes this romantic brand of acoustic jazz but also gypsy bossanova, musette, bolero, and swing.
  • Saturday, March 4: Marcia Ball honed her powerful singing and deft, rollicking keyboard chops while growing up in the small town of Vinton, La. Full-tilt or subtle as the moment demands, this unabashed powerhouse is at home playing roadhouse rock, jump-blues, second line syncopation, R&B, deep soul, and ballads. What’s more, Ball’s great singing and songwriting are matched by superb piano playing that is eclectic and effective. The New York Times writes, "Rollicking, playful, good time blues and intimate, reflective balladry...her songs ring with emotional depth."
  • Saturday, April 1: Madison, Wis., blues powerhouse group The Jimmys perform a sensational mixture of blues and R & B. The group’s sound features killer horns, greasy guitars, funky keys, and an “in the pocket” rhythm section. The music publication Downbeat called their latest release, ‘Hot Dish,’ one of the best albums of 2016.

The department will feature Stephanie Thorpe, soprano, on Saturday, March 18 in a program titled "Charting Changes: Women, Words and Music."  The program will provide an assortment of classical and contemporary music featuring Thorpe.

In addition to Performance Series events, the Department of Music will offer a number of student ensemble concerts, including the Concert Choir, David Dickau, conductor; University Chorale, Aaron Humble, conductor; Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band, Amy Roisum Foley, conductor; Minnesota State Mankato Community Orchestra, Joseph Rodgers, conductor; the Jazz Mavericks Big Band and Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles, Douglas Snapp, director; and the University Pop Rock Showcase directed by Michael Olson.

Online ticketing will be available Wednesday, Jan. 11. For more information, visit www.mnsu.edu/music or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

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