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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Music's Fall 2016 Performance Series Begins Sept. 1

Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne, an acoustic blues duo, opens season.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 8-9-2016

Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series announces its fall schedule of visiting artist concert events. In addition to the professional artist series, the Department of Music will offer 19 student ensemble concerts and faculty recitals over the course of the fall 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.

Fall semester Performance Series concert and artist highlights include:

Thursday, Sept. 1: Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne offer the listener a fresh approach to the classic blues form. The duo has been called one of the most talented acoustic blues duos around.

Thursday, Sept. 8: Vocalist Maud Hixson has taste and sophistication and is one of the best, most sensitive and creative song stylists to come out of the pages of the Great American Songbook.

Saturday, Sept. 17: Erik Koskinen has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Erik Koskinen “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter.”

Sunday, Sept. 18: Hall of Fame band Rio Nido Rio is one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved vocal groups. The original trio of Tim Sparks, Prudence Johnson, and Tom Lieberman established themselves as ace performers, playing classic jazz from the 1930s and ’40s at the hottest spots in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, Sept. 20: The Jack Klatt Band features fancy fingerpicking and delivers clever, ragtime flavored tunes with witty lyrics.

Sunday, Oct. 2: Singer/songwriter John Gorka pens songs that have a way of working on you long after you thought you had it all figured out, emotionally connecting us all and leaving a tender trace.

Sunday, Oct. 9: Pianist David Viscoli performs in concert. American Record Guide, America’s oldest classical music review magazine, said Viscoli, “relishes punishing virtuosic repertoire; but he’s capable of tender, understated lyricism as well.”

Tuesday, Oct. 11: Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves is a sharply observant songwriter with a deep appreciation for the ageless fundamentals of folk, country, and rock … one of the country’s most compelling roots artists.

Saturday, Oct. 15: Bernard Allison (pictured) brings his award winning blues show to Mankato, carrying on the Allison family blues music tradition.

Sunday, Oct. 16: Blue Hazard features modern songwriting and arranging that is rooted in the finest tradition of bluegrass, merging traditional bluegrass roots with folk and contemporary genres.

Tuesday, Nov. 1: Dusty Heart features two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles. The pair met in the bustling Minneapolis music scene, and decided to join forces crafting a sound that bridges the diverse musical worlds of roots, indie, and folk.

Saturday, Nov. 19: Sonny Knight and The Lakers is a high-energy band featuring a tight horn section, a retro R&B sound, and a critically acclaimed debut album.

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 Symphonic Band, Amy Roisum Foley, conductor; Minnesota State Mankato Community Orchestra, Joseph Rodgers, conductor; the University Percussion Ensemble, Michael Thursby, director; Charting Changes: Women, Words, and Music, Stephanie Thorpe, director; and the Jazz Mavericks Big Band and Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles, Douglas Snapp, director.

Online ticketing will be available Tuesday, Aug. 23. For more information, visit or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

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