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Feb. 16-19: 21st Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival

Professional and amateur pianists will perform during festival.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 2-6-2017

MANKATO, Minn. – The 21st Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival will highlight performances by professional and amateur pianists Thursday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Piano festival events are sponsored by the Bunny Just Piano Festival Endowment.

On Feb. 16, New Orleans piano legend Davell Crawford will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. Crawford 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.”

Hailing from a line of musical showmen, Crawford grew up in New Orleans immersed in its musical tradition and playing piano since the age of 2. Crawford’s grandfather was “Sugar Boy” Crawford, author of the famous song “Iko Iko” and extended family includes many music royalty -- Davell grew up hanging out and making music with Fats Domino, Irvin Mayfield, Allen Toussaint, Ellis Marsalis, C.J. Chenier, Roberta Flack, Lionel Hampton, and Dr. John, among others.

On Feb. 19, classical pianist Charles Asche will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. Asche's recital will feature works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederick Chopin. Asche has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, South America, Russia and Asia in venues that include the renowned Rachmaninoff Hall at the Moscow Conservatory, Taiwan's National Recital Hall in Taipei, the Sala America in the National Library in Santiago, Chile, and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Other festival events include college master class sessions on Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall with participants from Minnesota State Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus, and Bethany Lutheran colleges, and a competition and master class sessions for junior and senior high school students Feb. 18 from 2-5:30 p.m. Master class sessions are free and open to the public.

Beneta Just initiated the Bunny Just Piano Festival at Minnesota State Mankato in 1996. In 2004 her estate created an endowment to fund the annual festival. Just was a promoter, volunteer and financial supporter of many local social concerns, including special education and human rights. A University scholarship in special education remains in her name today.

Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to Those who want concert information should call the Performance Series office, (507)-389-5549.

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