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With a new artistic director and enhanced budget, the 17th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival will move to a new venue for one bigtime concert – the brand new CHS Field featuring Dr. John, the eccentric New Orleans piano man and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
He’ll headline on June 27 at 3 p.m. Admission is free but a ticket will be required for the 7,000-seat Saints baseball stadium. The tickets will be available at www.twincitiesjazzfestival.com.
New artistic director Francisco Mela has helped book a diverse lineup that includes an all-star quartet featuring Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland that will headline on June 26; the Marquis Hill Blacktet; Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet (doing a tribute to Jaco Pastorious), and Mela’s own group, the Jazz Machine, featuring guest trumpeter Nicholas Payton.
All concerts are free. Except for the Dr. John performance, the other concerts will be held in Mears Park in downtown St. Paul.
Additional performers will be announced later.
Frank Gehry guest house in Owatonna, 2011 photo by Mike Ekern for University of St. Thomas
After being moved from Lake Minnetonka to Owatonna, the famous $4.5 million guest house Frank Gehry designed for Mike and Penny Winton will be auctioned May 19 in Chicago.
The house was given to St. Thomas by real estate developer Kirt Woodhouse who had purchased it from the Wintons in 2001. St. Thomas had the 2,300 square foot house cut into eight pieces and moved 110 miles south to Owatonna where it was reassembled and repurposed as part of a conference center. The move took 18 months and cost an undisclosed sum estimated to be in the high six-figures.
When it reopened in 2011, Gehry attended the ceremony and declared the relocated structure to be "93.6 percent right."
In February 2014, the University announced plans to sell the Daniel C. Gainey Conference Center because it was unable to operate it "in a financially sustainable manner." Last summer the University sold the Owatonna property to Meridian Behavioral Health Services, a New Brighton-based company that has converted it into an addiction treatment center.
The University retained titled to the Winton house, however, and promised to move it by August 2016. It considered various options for the structure including disassembling and storing it, turning it over to an arts or cultural organization, or moving it back to the Twin Cities where St. Thomas has a business school in downtown Minneapolis and a main campus in St. Paul.
Ultimately those options proved unfeasible. St. Thomas rejected the building "because we are beginning a campus master planning process and could not commit to a specific site," said architecture professor Victoria Young, who chaired the relocation committee.
In late February the St. Thomas board of directors voted to sell the house. Details of its contract with the auction firm were not available, and Wright officials conld not be reached Monday.
Originally the guest house was part of an 11 acre parcel overlooking Lake Minnetonka that included a classic brick-and-glass house designed in 1952 by modernist master Philip Johnson. Prominent Twin Cities art patrons, the Wintons commissioned the guest house from Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry in 1987. His design was a novelty at the time -- a cluster of sculptural shapes that nestle together like a little village consisting of a tall metal-covered cone, a limestone clad block, a brick cube, a garage made of Finnish plywood, and an aluminum-covered cube. Each contained a room that served a special function including three-small bedrooms and a "living tower."
In many ways the guest house was the more famous of the two structures as it was a pioneering design whose eccentric shapes were acclaimed as break-throughs in living patterns. It won House and Garden magazine's design award for 1987. Coming hard on the heels of a popular 1986 traveling retrospective of Gehry's work organized by Walker Art Center, the house helped propel the Los Angeles-based architect to international fame.
And the big outdoor summer rock shows just keep coming: Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty will pair up for a special one-night party May 30 on Minneapolis’ historic Hall’s Island, located under the refurbished Plymouth Avenue Bridge on the Mississippi River just north of downtown. Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. for $45 via eTix.com and First Avenue outlets.
After putting their proposed First Avenue Festival in Parade Stadium permanently on the backburner two summers ago, the club’s bookers kept their eyes on other possible outdoor music ideas. They helped put together the Trampled by Turtles-led Festival Palomino with co-promoter Rose Presents at Canterbury Park last September (on again for this year), and they teamed with Chicago’s Jam Productions for this special May 30 concert.
Hall’s Island housed a popular bath house and park in the early 1900s before it was taken over by the Scherrer Bros. Lumber Co. The Minneapolis Parks Department recently took it back over and has been reshaping it to be part of the Above the Falls Regional Park. Concertgoers will be able to access the site via a short walk from the North Loop area of downtown or the Boom Island area across the river in northeast Minneapolis. About 8,000 tickets will be sold, a capacity that has more to do with limiting the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods than how many people the island can actually hold (a lot more, apparently).
"When we started working on this show, I immediately thought of the Hall's Island site as the perfect location," First Ave general manager Nate Kranz said, crediting the parks department for bringing the island to their attention two years ago and other city staffers for getting behind the idea.
In a press release Jam and First Ave put out on the concert, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said, “I'm extremely proud that they are bringing live music to our river front. I can't wait for this concert to happen in our city."
Gates to the show will open at 4:30 p.m., and local food offerings and craft beers are being promised along with the skyline-framed sunset (weather-permitting, of course).
Both Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty will be touring to tout their sophomore albums, following big breakout debuts that generated especially strong Twin Cities followings 2012-2013. FJM’s April 4 show at First Ave sold out instantaneously. Alabama Shakes’ last time in town was a sold-out outdoor gig at Cabooze Plaza in July 2013, also a First Ave-promoted event.
After a 25-year lull between local shows, it looks as if Madonna has gotten into the groove with the Twin Cities again. The pop queen will return to Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 8 in support of her upcoming album, “Rebel Heart.” Tickets go on sale March 16 at 10 a.m. for $40-$355 via Ticketmaster or at the arena box office.
Look for a media blitz to also start March 16 surrounding the tour and album, including a week-long stint with Madge on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Her pagan-looking Grammy Awards performance last month, which drew some fire from conservative groups, was the warm-up.
The 56-year-old music icon finally ended her drought of Minnesota performances in 2012 when she packed Xcel Center for back-to-back nights on her MDNA Tour. Those shows were light on old hits and carried an unusually dark tone, so fans are no doubt hoping for a more classic Madonna experience this time around.
In two small exhibitions, the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum showcases gifts of 20th century sculpture, prints and drawings from Minneapolis collectors Lillian (Babe) and Julius Davis, and topical sculpture by Hungarian-born emigre Peter Dallos.
The Weisman overlooks the Mississippi River at 333 E. River Road, Minneapolis on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. (10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tue., Thu., Fri.; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Wed.; 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sat., Sun.; closed Mondays. Free. 612-625-9494 or www.weisman.umn.edu)
"Acid Rain" by Peter Dallos.
Selections from "The Struggle" series by Peter Dallos: As a child in Hungary, Dallos survived the German occupation, the siege of Budapest and the Holocaust. Then came the repressive post war occupation by the Soviet Union. After the Hungarian revolution in 1956, he escaped and emigrated to the United States where he settled in Chicago. He is now an emeritus professor of neuroscience at Northwestern University.
Only fragments of his improbable and ultimately fortunate life are evident in the small, wall-hung sculptures on display at the Weisman. Part of a series Dallos calls "The Struggle," the polished steel and rough metal objects suggest the tensions between order and chaos, civilization and anarchy, rebirth and environmental degredation that are omnipresent in human society.
An earlier series called "War" more directly alluded to the horrors of W.W. II and the existential alienation that followed. Dallos' entire "War" series is now in the permanent collection of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. (February 14 - March 22, 2015).
"Element Bleu 1" by Jean Dubuffet.
Artful Giving: Lillian (Babe) and Julius Davis: Longtime supporters of both Walker Art Center and the Weisman, the late Babe and Julius Davis were avid collectors of contemporary art as well. Between 1975 and 2013, they gave more than 85 artworks to the Weisman, virtually all of them dating from the post - W.W. II era when they were most deeply engaged in collecting.
Their taste ran to abstract and somewhat conceptual pieces including lithographs for unrealized sculpture projects by Robert Morris and a wall-hung sculpture by French artist Jean Dubuffet made of polyester resin covered with acrylic paint. Dubuffet made it based on doodles he scribbled while talking on the telephone.
About 15 of the Davis gifts are featured in a small show that offers a tidy sample of leading names of the era including Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Sol LeWitt, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, Jonathan Borofsky, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, George Segal, Brice Marden, James Kielkopf and Takeshi Kawashima. (February 28 - August 9, 2015)
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