Minnesota State Mankato Announces Spring 2024 Performance Series

January 05, 2024 | Arts & Entertainment

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Performing Arts News Release

Mankato, Minn.  – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Performing Arts announces the Performance Series schedule of visiting artist concert events for spring semester. In addition to the professional artist series, the Department of Performing Arts will offer a number of student ensemble concerts over the course of the semester.

Events are made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008. Additional funding is provided by Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment and KMSU The Maverick.

The Performance Series offers contemporary and diverse styles of 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 concert and artist highlights include:

Thursday, Feb. 1 – PIETA BROWN

Pieta Brown’s music has roots in traditional and rural folk music with influences from her bohemian upbringing

Saturday, Feb. 3  –  ELTON TRIBUTE featuring GARRETT STEINBERG

The Elton John Tribute is a premiere event featuring a full band, sound, lights and  production. The show takes the best of Elton’s greatest hits and brings them to life.   

Monday, Feb. 5  –  CANTUS

Cantus is one of the nation’s few, full-time vocal ensembles. Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and riveting performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century.  

Sunday, Feb. 18  –  ADAM CLARK

The 25th annual Bunny Just Piano Festival features concert pianist Adam Clark. Clark has been heard internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist.

Monday, March 11  –  MARY GAUTHIER with JAIMEE HARRIS

Mary Gauthier has garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album, as well as a nomination for Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

Jaimee Harris’s music bears the clear signs of having graduated from the Texas country-folk singer-songwriter school founded by Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, carried forward by the likes of Guy Clark and Nanci Griffith. 

Thursday, March 21  –  CHICAGO FARMER & THE FIELDNOTES

Chicago Farmer features Cody Diekhoff. Profoundly inspired by John Prine, Diekhoff is a working-class folk musician to his core. 

Saturday, March 23 THE JIMMYS

The Wisconsin Area Music Awards have recognized and honored The Jimmys with over two dozen WAMI awards including Blues Artist of the year, Blues Song of the Year, Bassist of the Year, Brass Player of the Year, and Keyboardist of the Year.

Tuesday, March 26  – JOHN ‘PAPA’ GROS   

John “Papa” Gros is a New Orleans artist, keyboardist, singer and songwriter who draws on funk, rhythm & blues and Americana songcraft. Born and raised in the Crescent City, Gros delivers a sound that is both innovative and unmistakably New Orleans.

Saturday, April 6 LOST WALLEYE ORCHESTRA w/STACY K BAND

The Lost Walleye Orchestra plays a mix of Americana, folk, and original music. The members have over 150 years of combined professional performing experience.

Independent Minnesota based singer-songwriter Stacy K performs adventurous roots rock. Harry Nilsson-esq pop to Lucinda Williams like blues dirges show up. With the grit to prove it, Stacy K is a wrangler of kids, songs, sobriety, and a melody with a background rooted in the working class.

Friday, April 19  ANDY MARTIN w/JAZZ MAVERICKS

Andy Martin’s technique and virtuosity has established him as an in-demand musician on the Los Angeles music scene. He has appeared at many colleges and universities throughout the country as a guest artist and clinician. A world-class jazz musician, Martin is featured as leader or co-leader on twelve albums with premier jazz artists.  

Saturday, April 20 ERIK KOSKINEN BAND w/LUKE LEBLANC BAND

Real-Phonic Records artist Erik Koskinen is on tour in support of his latest CD to be released in April 2024. Koskinen is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whose music is not categorized by sub-genres. Influenced by roots music of the Americas and the world, the rhythmic integrity and musical tone are as important as the lyrical content and the artistic intent.

Luke LeBlanc is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter who delivers dynamic and versatile original performances that feature a warm, organic merging of rootsy folk and pop. The Current says LeBlanc’s music is “delicate, understated, and careful in its construction.”

Thursday Saturday, April 25-27: CARMINA BURANA performances  

The Department of Performing Arts closes the season with an exciting collaboration between the dance, theater, and music programs with a production of Carl Orff’s iconic choral masterpiece. Orff’s work features powerful music, captivating choreography, and stunning visuals as the production moves through 24 movements of medieval poetry. 

On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Maverick Athletic Band will perform a program titled “Changing the Game” at the annual Minnesota Music Educators conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The performance takes place at 6:45 p.m. The program will look at how an athletic band program can use their platform to perform music outside of the traditional pep band catalog. The students are empowered to be leaders as they have a voice in every aspect of the Maverick Machine Athletic Band.

In addition to Performance Series events, the Department of Performing Arts will offer a number of student ensemble concerts including the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, Elisabeth Cherland, conductor; University Gospel Choir, Courtland Pickens, director; Concert Wind Ensemble, Amy Roisum Foley, conductor; the Jazz Mavericks Big Band, Douglas Snapp, director; and Contemporary Vocal Ensembles, Douglas Snapp and Stephanie Thorpe, co-directors.

Online ticketing is available at hss.mnsu.edu/music-events or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

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