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Jon Bream

Reporter | Pop Music
phone: 612-673-1719
Since he began covering popular music for the Star Tribune in 1974, Jon Bream has attended more than 6,000 concerts and interviewed the King of Pop, the Queen of Soul and Prince as well as Bob Dylan, U2, three Beatles, four Rolling Stones and all of Maroon 5. He has performed with Alice Cooper, jogged with Willie Nelson and has Taylor Swift on his speed dial. He has written books on Prince, Led Zeppelin and Neil Diamond. But Jon has yet to satisfy a request of many Star Tribune readers: that he take a music-appreciation class.
Recent content from Jon Bream
Best in the business take fresh approaches

Best in the business take fresh approaches

Springsteen and Prince in concert: Two all-time greats give fans something new.
Obituary: Jazz man Morris Wilson was a 'fierce musician, uncompromising player'

Obituary: Jazz man Morris Wilson was a 'fierce musician, uncompromising player'

Morris Wilson was a jazz musician who could play R&B. But the saxophonist wasn’t one to compromise — with either his music or his life.…
Prince gets personal in his first-ever solo show

Prince gets personal in his first-ever solo show

REVIEW: On Thursday night, Prince finally made his debut as a live one-man band with a sizable Afro at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. It was the most revealing, intimate and personal show he's ever given.
Nicholas David is Feelin' good about his Dakota debut

Nicholas David is Feelin' good about his Dakota debut

The former "Voice" star is expressing a new mantra as he makes his debut at the Dakota Jazz Club.
Obituary: Percy Hughes, 93, excelled at playing jazz and teaching tennis

Obituary: Percy Hughes, 93, excelled at playing jazz and teaching tennis

Whether he was conducting the session with his saxophone or a tennis racquet, Percy Hughes was a gentle, knowledgeable leader. Saxophonist Dave Karr recalls when…
Gift guide: Rock out with books and CD boxed sets for music fans

Gift guide: Rock out with books and CD boxed sets for music fans

Skip the iTunes gift cards and Adele CD. For the music lover on your holiday list, consider a more substantial present such as a book or CD boxed set.
Which Top 40 stars earned awards at Jingle Ball?

Which Top 40 stars earned awards at Jingle Ball?

Review: Shawn Mendes, the Jonas brothers and Charlie Puth had KDWB-loving teen girls swooning.
The Grammys: A pile of nominations doesn't always turn into a big win

The Grammys: A pile of nominations doesn't always turn into a big win

Analysis: The Compton rapper picked up the most nominations, but will he win big?
Twin Cities jazz trio Rio Nido will swing once more at the Dakota

Twin Cities jazz trio Rio Nido will swing once more at the Dakota

Popular Twin Cities retro jazz trio Rio Nido returns to the scene after a three-decade absence.
Cocaine found on tour bus where rock star Scott Weiland died

Cocaine found on tour bus where rock star Scott Weiland died

Rock star Scott Weiland was found dead Thursday night in his tour bus in Bloomington, and a small amount of cocaine was nearby, authorities said.
Minneapolis musician Renee Austin happy to sing the blues again

Minneapolis musician Renee Austin happy to sing the blues again

Thyroid surgery cost blues-soul singer Renee Austin her voice in 2005 — but it's back, and so is she, with a gig at the Dakota.
John Mayer's passion helps enliven newest incarnation of the Dead

John Mayer's passion helps enliven newest incarnation of the Dead

Review: Young pop star not only fit well but brought electricity.
Talking turkey with Twin Cities guitar hero Leo Kottke

Talking turkey with Twin Cities guitar hero Leo Kottke

The Twin Cities guitarist's annual Thanksgiving time concert has moved to Black Friday at the Fitzgerald.
John Mayer rises with Dead & Company

John Mayer rises with Dead & Company

John Mayer revives his Grateful Dead spinoff band – jamming its way to Target Center.
Review: Janet Jackson show at Target Center hits its groove in the second half

Review: Janet Jackson show at Target Center hits its groove in the second half

Review: Singing felt secondary in dance-packed jam that hit its groove in the second half.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis share 'Unbreakable' bond with Janet Jackson

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis share 'Unbreakable' bond with Janet Jackson

Grammy-winning producer/songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis reunited with Target Center-bound Janet Jackson to record her chart-topping new album.
Ringo Starr keeps up good vibes at State Theatre

Ringo Starr keeps up good vibes at State Theatre

Ringo Starr always was the least Beatle. Not only was he the last to join the band (hence John, Paul, George and Ringo) but he…

Prince throws Lynx a celebratory bash

Prince hatched the idea on Wednesday afternoon: If the Lynx won the WNBA title, he’d host an after-party for them at Paisley Park. The Lynx…
Owl City goes from one-hit wonder to Mr. Everywhere

Owl City goes from one-hit wonder to Mr. Everywhere

Owl City's Adam Young of Owatonna has gone from one-hit wonder to appearing on movie soundtracks, TV commercials and a McCartney tribute album.
Madonna more playful than provocative in Xcel show

Madonna more playful than provocative in Xcel show

Review: The pop diva had plenty of spice but was easier to like than in her 2012 Xcel tour stop.
Madonna's 10 most outrageous moments

Madonna's 10 most outrageous moments

She might be tame compared with today's sex-obsessed stars, but let's not forget Madge once set the standard for pop controversy.
Top moments from Nashville's Americana Music Festival

Top moments from Nashville's Americana Music Festival

Highlights at the annual Nashville festival ranged from Glen Hansard doing Springsteen to a bluegrass band doing "Tommy."
Dylan's 'Highway 61': Revisiting a 50-year-old masterpiece in Jon Bream's new book

Dylan's 'Highway 61': Revisiting a 50-year-old masterpiece in Jon Bream's new book

Editor’s note: Star Tribune critic Jon Bream enlisted more than 50 musicians, writers and professors to dissect Bob Dylan’s albums in the new book “Dylan:…
Slick Taylor Swift sizzles and struts with a new persona

Slick Taylor Swift sizzles and struts with a new persona

Review: In the first of three weekend shows at the Xcel Energy Center, a snootier new Swift appeared.
Twin Cities' top fall concerts blend old (Madonna) and new (Lianne La Havas)

Twin Cities' top fall concerts blend old (Madonna) and new (Lianne La Havas)

What's big in Twin Cities pop-music concerts this fall? Look for veteran artists like the Who and Madonna in October and newer artists such as Beach House and Lianne La Havas in the coming weeks.
Is Taylor Swift the new Michael Jackson?

Is Taylor Swift the new Michael Jackson?

We measure the impact of America's top pop phenom, who comes to the Twin Cities this weekend for a three-night stand.
Review: Prince's new album is hit and miss

Review: Prince's new album is hit and miss

On "HitNRun," the Purple One delivers a hodgepodge of R&B, EDM and some guitar heroics.
With a new album and arena tour, is Janet Jackson back in control?

With a new album and arena tour, is Janet Jackson back in control?

The singer reunited with her Minneapolis-rooted producers and is returning to the arena circuit witha tour that hits Target Center Nov. 1.
Haggard, Kristofferson rule the fair's grandstand

Haggard, Kristofferson rule the fair's grandstand

Review: The two country giants, ages 78 and 79, dominated with oldies but goodies.
Review: D'Angelo burns brightly at First Avenue

Review: D'Angelo burns brightly at First Avenue

Review: After tentative start, the eccentric soul man ignited for a blazing two-hour finale.
High Spirits shake up St. Louis Park's 50-year reunion

High Spirits shake up St. Louis Park's 50-year reunion

St. Louis Park High's 50-year reunion last weekend had a special twist: a performance by a bunch of sixty-something musicians who haven't played together since a one-off reunion in 1997.
Garrison Keillor takes a State Fair curtain call

Garrison Keillor takes a State Fair curtain call

He dropped hints that this show could be last at fair.

Patti LaBelle reigns soulfully at State Fair

There was fun, fashion and frenzy in the 71-year-old's show, but the guiding light was passion.
Music critic Jon Bream lists his faves from 40 years of concerts, interviews

Music critic Jon Bream lists his faves from 40 years of concerts, interviews

The longest running full-time music critic at a daily U.S. newspaper gives his take on the best of the best during four decades of coverage.
Country star Alan Jackson takes it easy at State Fair

Country star Alan Jackson takes it easy at State Fair

The fair features country acts three straight nights for first time since 1996.
Keith Urban shines at State Fair

Keith Urban shines at State Fair

Review: The country superstar found his bearings and entertained another sold-out grandstand crowd.
Kelsea Ballerini and Brandy Clark are bringing female voices back to country radio

Kelsea Ballerini and Brandy Clark are bringing female voices back to country radio

Radio's dance card is overcrowded with boot-scootin' men, but two of Nashville's rising stars boast new moves.
Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl reinvents the rocking chair

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl reinvents the rocking chair

Review: After breaking his leg, the Foo Fighters frontman rocked hard in his custom-made throne at Xcel Energy Center.
Four fab memories: Revisit the Beatles' Met Stadium concert 50 years later

Four fab memories: Revisit the Beatles' Met Stadium concert 50 years later

Relive Beatlemania through the eyes of four people who were at the Mop Tops' Met Stadium concert 50 years ago Friday.
Idina Menzel really lets go at Northrop Auditorium

Idina Menzel really lets go at Northrop Auditorium

Review: From girlish to grand, the big-voiced belter delivered a 1-2 knockout punch.
First Avenue ceiling collapses during band's show, injuring 3

First Avenue ceiling collapses during band's show, injuring 3

Theory of a Deadman had just finished the fourth song at the legendary downtown Minneapolis club when a 30-by-30-foot section of ceiling fell. Three people went to Hennepin County Medical Center and were in satisfactory condition
Kelly Clarkson steers her own course in St. Paul concert

Kelly Clarkson steers her own course in St. Paul concert

Review: The "American Idol" idol was strong and confident in her own songs and covers.
Review: Woody Allen plays the role of clarinetist with entertaining New Orleans Jazz Band

Review: Woody Allen plays the role of clarinetist with entertaining New Orleans Jazz Band

The filmmaker brought his New Orleans jazz band for an entertaining concert at the State Theatre.
For folk star Brandi Carlile, Minnesota might as well be a second home

For folk star Brandi Carlile, Minnesota might as well be a second home

The singer-songwriter credits her Up North uncle for her love of music and Minnesota.
Shania Twain at Target Center doesn't impress much

Shania Twain at Target Center doesn't impress much

Review: It all felt so familiar at the sold-out Target Center concert.
Review: At Starkey gala, Katy Perry's short set fizzles

Review: At Starkey gala, Katy Perry's short set fizzles

The "Firework" singer, the foundation's biggest headliner yet, brought big buzz, but she didn't ignite the crowd Sunday night in St. Paul.
Katy Perry shined brightest on the Starkey red carpet

Katy Perry shined brightest on the Starkey red carpet

In the pop queen, the Starkey Hearing Foundation gala nabbed one of its biggest stars to date.
Vocal group Pentatonix hits the big time as touring mates for Kelly Clarkson

Vocal group Pentatonix hits the big time as touring mates for Kelly Clarkson

Pentatonix aims to take a cappella to new heights – namely, sports arenas with Kelly Clarkson.
Country/pop queen Shania Twain beats vocal hurdles for comeback tour

Country/pop queen Shania Twain beats vocal hurdles for comeback tour

After vocal and personal problems, country/pop queen Shania Twain is back on tour, headed to Target Center on Tuesday.
Chesney throws down the country gauntlet

Chesney throws down the country gauntlet

Review: His amped-up show raises the question: Can there be two kings?
Chesney talks touring, family and two Target Field shows

Chesney talks touring, family and two Target Field shows

He's back on the road, recharged and ready for an unprecedented two-night stand at Target Field this weekend.
Sellout is sweet music at Basilica Block Party

Sellout is sweet music at Basilica Block Party

Matthew Sweet, Wilco, Weezer and others were big draws to the festival.
Who's the greatest, U2 or the Stones?

Who's the greatest, U2 or the Stones?

Our critic compares the two legendary bands after seeing them back-to-back last week.
Dr. John's New Orleans jazz comes to St. Paul's CHS Field

Dr. John's New Orleans jazz comes to St. Paul's CHS Field

Dr. John was the first to play a concert at CHS Field, and the new venue got high marks.
Luke Bryan, king of bro-country, shakes up the Bank

Luke Bryan, king of bro-country, shakes up the Bank

Luke Bryan was all wiggling butt and pickup truck machismo Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium, and 43,000 fans approved at the first country-music concert at the U stadium.
Fans crash Luke Bryan's party at TCF Bank Stadium

Fans crash Luke Bryan's party at TCF Bank Stadium

There was no tailgating allowed in the parking lots near TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. But that didn't stop the party before the big Luke Bryan/Florida Georgia Line country music concert.
Florida Georgia Line talks about being bro-country firebrand

Florida Georgia Line talks about being bro-country firebrand

Anything goes for Florida Georgia Line, the hit duo that cruises into TCF Bank Stadium Saturday with fellow star Luke Bryan.
5 good places to eat and drink near the Minnesota Zoo

5 good places to eat and drink near the Minnesota Zoo

Here is a dining guide, whether you're going for a summer concert or the animals.
Review: Bette Midler is divine in song and shtick

Review: Bette Midler is divine in song and shtick

Review: She poured her heart and soul into the ballads Sunday in St. Paul.
Review: Mick Jagger's swagger proves you're never too old to rock

Review: Mick Jagger's swagger proves you're never too old to rock

Neither rain nor age nor Mick Jagger's hesitation about how to pronounce "Minneapolitan" could stop the world's oldest, richest and greatest rock 'n' roll band — the Rolling Stones — Wednesday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays at Dakota

Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays at Dakota

The birthday drummer sat in with several Stones sidemen on the song "Ruby Tuesday."
REVIEW: His guitar, not Jimmy Hall's vocals, makes Jeff Beck great

REVIEW: His guitar, not Jimmy Hall's vocals, makes Jeff Beck great

Guitar god Jeff Beck returned to the State Theatre Saturday night with the same old hairdo, same old Stratocaster and a new vocalist.Having obscure Southern…
Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

From the Stones to Soundset and beyond, it's a season bound to satisfy.
Review: New Kids older, but still have a lot of fun

Review: New Kids older, but still have a lot of fun

Gen-Xers got a chance for nostalgic fun with a triple bill featuring New Kids on the Block, TLC and Nelly at the Xcel Energy Center.
Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Our assessment of the 2015 summer concert season around the Twin Cities is there's simply too much. Here's a breakdown to help sort through it all.
Older Piano Man is still feisty, friendly and funny

Older Piano Man is still feisty, friendly and funny

Review: Billy Joel played his old hits to a jam-packed Target Center crowd.

Guitar legend was gracious, generous on and offstage

B.B. King was the hardest working guitarist in show business. Maybe make that the hardest touring guitarist in show business.The last few times in town,…

Terri Clark, Reel Big Fish, Andy Grammer, Home Free booked for free stages at Minnesota State Fair

The lineup is not as exciting as in past years.
Review: Brit star Jessie J a pop wonder at First Avenue

Review: Brit star Jessie J a pop wonder at First Avenue

review: The Brit showed the voice of a champ at First Ave.
American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th with a national 'Night Out'

American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th with a national 'Night Out'

The St. Paul-based American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th anniversary with a nationwide event this week.
Life imitates art with 'Nashville' TV stars at Northrop

Life imitates art with 'Nashville' TV stars at Northrop

REVIEW: Chip Esten and Clare Bowen led the TV stars onto the stage with mixed results.
'Nashville' TV stars take to Northrop concert stage

'Nashville' TV stars take to Northrop concert stage

Chip Esten and Clare Bowen lead the TV stars onto the Northrop stage with mixed results.
Brandi Carlile heads to Cabooze Plaza, LaBelle and Skynyrd set for state fair

Brandi Carlile heads to Cabooze Plaza, LaBelle and Skynyrd set for state fair

The Minnesota State Fair is turning to — surprise! — some familiar names for its grandstand lineup: Patti LaBelle, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Garrison Keillor. But favorite Brandi Carlile will be playing the Cabooze in August.
Skynyrd, Keillor added to State Fair grandstand lineup

Skynyrd, Keillor added to State Fair grandstand lineup

The Minnesota State Fair is turning to — surprise! — some familiar names for its grandstand lineup.
Cast of ABC's 'Nashville' takes to the stage in Minneapolis

Cast of ABC's 'Nashville' takes to the stage in Minneapolis

Deacon, Scarlett and company from the TV drama are headed to Minneapolis on Wednesday as part of a concert tour.
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