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Jennifer Lopez planning a 'Party' at Xcel Center on June 28

Jennifer Lopez performed in a Motown tribute during last month's Grammy Awards. / Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times/TNS

Jennifer Lopez performed in a Motown tribute during last month's Grammy Awards. / Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times/TNS

While her Twin Cities fans did get a chance to see a special one-off gig last year around the Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez is also including them on her first tour in six years, the summer-long It’s My Party Tour, which will stop into Xcel Energy Center on June 28.

The “party” in the name is meant to mark Lopez’s 50th birthday on July 24. After spending much of the last five years focused on acting, being an ex-“American Idol” judge and hosting a Las Vegas residency, she is hitting the road again with a new single that drops in two weeks with French Montana, “Medicine.” She is also currently shooting a new movie called “Hustlers” with co-stars Cardi B, Constance Wu and Julia Stiles, about strippers who pull a con on their Wall Street clients.

St. Paul’s date falls about halfway through Lopez’s tour. Tickets go on sale next Friday, March 29, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office, with pre-sale options starting Tuesday. Apparently, ticket prices are a birthday surprise for fans; promoter Live Nation and representatives from the publicly owned arena once again did not let the public know the cost of tickets. Live Nation now owns Ticketmaster and often hedges on naming prices to sell as many “platinum”-priced seats as it can.

Minnesota Orchestra to play 'Coco' soundtrack, Latin American works for Sommerfest 2019

Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the world's first live orchestra version of Disney-Pixar's 2017 movie "Coco." (Tom Wallace/Star Tribune)

In 2018, Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest was designed to prepare the orchestra for its major tour to South Africa. Announced Friday, plans for the 2019 festival boast an exciting Latin flavor. Might a tour to South America be in the orchestra’s future? It’s a tantalizing possibility, prompted by the rich variety of music in store.

Sommerfest 2019 opens with an exciting program for young and old: the world premiere of the live orchestra version of Disney-Pixar’s 2017 movie “Coco,” led by Live at Orchestra Hall conductor Sarah Hicks (July 6-7).

The four-week festival’s blue ribbon event is the orchestra’s first performances of “La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion According to St. Mark)” by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. Scored for a choir, eight soloists and orchestra — with a battery of percussion instruments — the work’s 2000 premiere was hailed by the Boston Globe as “the first indisputably great composition of the 21st century.” Venezuelan conductor María Guinand leads two performances of “La Pasión” Aug. 2 and 3, with stage direction by Ten Thousand Things Theater Artistic Director Marcela Lorca.

Other concert highlights include Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä leading a colorful concert of music by Brazilian, Argentine, Mexican and Peruvian composers, including Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” No. 5 and Ginastera’s “Variaciones” concertantes (July 12). And “The Prodigious Life of Clara S.” (July 27) is an innovative musical drama created by the Moving Company, with help from Minnesota Orchestra violist Sam Bergman. With Hicks back on the podium, the new work examines the relationship between 19th-century musician Clara Schumann, her husband Robert and his fellow composer Johannes Brahms.

Minnesota Orchestra subscribers can purchase tickets for all Sommerfest programs beginning March 29. For everyone else, tickets are available April 12 via 612-371-5656 or

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