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Ten Musically Diverse Concerts to be Featured in Minnesota State Mankato’s Fall Performance Series

Ten concerts with visiting artists along with 12 student ensemble concerts set for fall semester.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 8-31-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Performance Series will present 10 concerts with visiting artists during the fall semester, along with 12 student ensemble concerts.

The series offers contemporary and ethnically diverse music by state and internationally recognized artists. It also incorporates instruction through master classes, clinics and workshops for the university community and Mankato area residents.

Performance Series 2012 concerts and artist highlights:

  • Thursday, Sept. 6: Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne deliver a powerful show by fusing their various musical styles and experiences. The duo offers the listener a fresh approach to classic acoustic blues music and cover the work of American and Ragtime icons Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson..
  • Thursday, Sept. 13: The Indie group Bella Ruse's music is a combination of airy folk and crunchy pop originals using a laboratory of instruments – acoustic guitar, suitcase organ, glockenspiel, typewriter, and kazoos. Singer Kay Gillette's antique voice and Joseph Barker's mournful guitar twist and twirl and dip and dive and carry you into their magical musical world.
  • Monday, Sept. 17: The Lehto & Wright Trio performs a unique blend of traditional and modern Irish, English and American folk songs and interprets them with contemporary guitar-based arrangements. They have a wide array of influences, ranging anywhere from European folk music to progressive folk pioneers King Crimson, to jazzer Miles Davis, to English singer/songwriter Richard Thompson.
  • Sunday, Sept. 23: Keri Noble is a piano-driven singer/songwriter whose passion and penchant for living life on her own terms radiates from her music. Her songs have been featured on the TV show “Grey's Anatomy” and on Kelly Clarkson’s Grammy-nominated album. As a singer, songwriter and piano player, Noble gained the attention of the world-famous producer, Arif Mardin, and a recording deal with EMI/Manhattan Records soon followed. Worldwide touring supported her debut release Fearless.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25: Rawlins Piano Trio - Since its founding in 1987, the Rawlins Piano Trio has distinguished itself as a dynamic group of performers, teachers and scholars.Touring regularly throughout the United States and abroad, the artists combine school visits and master classes with performances in a variety of concert venues. Owing to its expertise as a preeminent interpreter of American music, the ensemble has recorded four CDs of these works on the Albany Records label.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 2: Alison Scott with Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets – Scott is the strongest new voice to come out of the Minneapolis music scene in years; Scott’s soulful organic sound has cut through the din of Indie rock to build a large and loyal following throughout the Midwest. Working with multi-platinum and Grammy nominated guitarist/producer Kevin Bowe, Alison’s CDs have sold almost 10,000 units; the newest release, “Chinese Whispers” has just been picked up for national distribution.
  • Sunday, Oct. 7: Tim Sparks is an award-winning acoustic guitarist whose blending of musical styles including country blues, be-bop jazz, and world music has won him extensive praise from all corners of the music world.Guitar Player Magazine has called his music, “fresh, exotic, and totally cool.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls it '“rich and sensuous,” and guitarist Leo Kottke simply says, “He's really one of the best musicians I know.”
  • Saturday, Oct. 20: Jandek - Jandek is one of the most elusive and enigmatic personalities in contemporary music today. For over 30 years Corwood Industries has issued Jandek recordings that could be described as mysterious, beautiful, haunting and difficult. The songs range from sparse acoustic confessionals to howling blues, and from stunning piano performances to cacophonous walls of noise. Improvisation is a key component of these performances, and the unpredictability of the music combined with the mystery surrounding Jandek has created an aura that repeatedly invites people to try and get a glimpse behind the curtain but thwarts their every attempt.Houston-based musician and Corwood Industries representative Jandek has been the recipient of underground obsession for the past 34 years, since releasing Ready for the House in 1978.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23: Dr. Douglas Snapp leads an all-star quintet of Minneapolis musicians. Members of the group have recorded and performed with some of the finest local and national jazz instrumentalists and vocalists.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30: Folk artist John Gorka is an internationally honored icon of folk tradition. His music is an expression of everyday life, not necessarily music that may be considered a trend or fad. Gorka has appeared on the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, E-Town, and CNN. He has released 11 studio albums. He prefers the music that is an expression of everyday life, not necessarily music that may be considered a trend or fad.
  • Sunday, November 11: Pianist David Viscoli presents a faculty recital. Viscoli has won numerous awards and piano competitions and regularly participates in many summer music festivals. He is currently professor of piano at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

In addition, the Department of Music is also hosting a number of student ensemble concerts, including the Concert Choir, David Dickau, conductor; University Chorale, Rodney Urtel, conductor; Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, Amy Roisum-Foley, conductor; University Orchestra, Joseph Rodgers, conductor; and the Jazz Mavericks, Jazz Singers and Jazz Combos, Doug Snapp, director.

Current Minnesota State Mankato students are eligible for concert ticket discounts. Discount subscription packages are available at the Music Box Office in the Performing Arts Center Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. and Thursday from 1-3 p.m.

Online ticketing is available as well. Those who want more information may visit

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, a system of 31 public colleges and universities with 54 campuses in 47 communities throughout the state of Minnesota.

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