Staff Directory 10644496

Jon Bream

Reporter and critic | Pop music
Phone: 612-673-1719

Jon Bream has been a music critic at the Star Tribune since 1975, making him the longest tenured pop critic at a U.S. daily newspaper. He has attended more than 8,000 concerts and written four books (on Prince, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan). Thus far, he has ignored readers’ suggestions that he take a music-appreciation class.

Bream has interviewed such music royalty as the King of Pop (Michael Jackson), the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin) 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 walked the streets of New York with Bruce Springsteen. A longtime voter for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bream has also written for the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Vibe and other publications. He has a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota, where he established the Jon Bream Scholarship for Arts Criticism.
Recent content from Jon Bream
After burning out on bar gigs and guitar retail, Molly Maher turned to yoga, nature and a new way of making music, which can be heard on “Follow,”

Minnesota music queen Molly Maher pivots, finding new outlets and a new album

Minnesota music hero Molly Maher pivots, finding new outlets and a new album.
Nirvana, “MTV Unplugged in New York”

Singing the concert cancellation blues? Get your live music fix with these 25 films

With no concerts in town, these movie definitely guarantee a great performance to enjoy.
Twin Cities celebrity Fancy Ray McCloney at Elsa’s House of Sleep, a client of the TV pitchman/comedian. He’ll have a listening party on his Faceb

It's Fancy Ray McCloney Day in the Twin Cities: 'His shtick is almost like a spell'

Fancy Ray McCloney celebrates his debut album, "The Best Looking Man in Comedy."
Leslie Odom Jr.

Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. on 'Hamilton' the movie: 'I'll be seeing it with fresh eyes'

Actor/singer, who won a Tony Award for portraying Aaron Burr, has been concentrating on his musical career.
Donna Pochie wears 'Irish' glasses during the South Side Irish Parade Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2019, in Chicago.

Could you use 'the luck of the Irish'? 13 songs for St. Patrick's Day

With St. Patrick's Day approaching, we recommend these songs about luck — good, bad and hopeful.
"We will do everything they ask us to do," Crooners owner Mary Tjosvold said Monday after hearing the governor's order to close all restaurants, bars

The last concert (for now) in Twin Cities was an uplifting evening at Crooners

Sunday's show at Crooners was about uplift in uncertain times.
Terry Walsh, right, leads the Belfast Cowboys. Photo by Renee Jones Schneider •

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Joe Bonamassa, Wynonna Judd & Belfast Cowboys

The big gigs for March 13-19, also including Leslie Odom Jr., Ana Popovic, Steve Aoki and good ol' REO.
Kenny Chesney has postponed his May 2 concert at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Twin Cities concerts are canceling over virus: 'This is all uncharted'

Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Rage and Lumineers called off their local concerts, but many upcoming shows are still on. For now.
As the new executive director at Paisley Park, Alan Seiffert talks about “amplifying Paisley Park as a creative sanctuary.”

Paisley Park gets a reboot: You can take cellphone pics, and even drink, too

Welcome to the post-Elvis era at Paisley Park. Four years after Prince's death, his Chanhassen studio has come alive again under a new director.
Bob Weir, Jay Lane, and Don Was, from left, of the Wolf Bros. during the first song of their show at the Palace Theatre in 2018.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Bob Weir, Best Coast, Three 6 Mafia, Black Lips

The big gigs for March 6-12, also including Hayes Carll with Allison Moorer, Omar Sosa, Yonder Mountain String Band, Liv Warfield, Wilco in Duluth and more.
Tanya Tucker hits Grand Casino Hinckley after Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings co-produced her latest album.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Rufus du Sol, Saint Motel, Tanya Tucker, Wire

The big gigs for Feb. 28-March 5, also including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bill Frisell, Sudan Archives, Destroyer and Kamasi Washington.
The Band (from left): Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm. The group is the subject of the new film "Once Were B

In a new film, rock legend Robbie Robertson remembers his brothers in song

The Rock Hall of Famer talks about the breakup of the Band, the booing of Bob Dylan and his new documentary.
Prince left behind a $100 million fortune to six sibling heirs — one of whom has now died.

Death of Prince heir complicates estate settlement even more

The death of Prince's brother, along with his contested will, and deals signed with entertainment company Primary Wave, are raising new questions in the efforts to settle the musician's estate.
Common performs before the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Chicago.

6 cool things in music this week include Brandi Carlile, Billie Eilish, Common, Rosanne Cash and Justin Bieber

Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.   Lisa Dahlseid of Robbinsdale: 1 Brandi Carlile, the Fillmore Minneapolis.…
Producer, songwriter and former pop hitmaker Raphael Saadiq plays First Avenue on Saturday touting his ambitious and personal new album, "Jimmy Lee."

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Big Turn Fest, Buddy Guy, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq

The big gigs for Feb. 21-27, also including Dashboard Confessional, the Cedar Commissions, Big Head Todd, Ben Noble and Echosmith.
Joe Henry released his latest album, “The Gospel According to Water,” in November. He plays Thursday at the Dakota in Minneapolis.

Joe Henry on fighting cancer and performing: 'I know that music saved my life'

Headed to Minneapolis, singer Joe Henry beat cancer to deliver a remarkable album.
Brandi Carlile performed at the Fillmore Minneapolis on Wednesday.

New Fillmore Minneapolis music club gets most things right but ...

Great sound is highlight of the new music club in North Loop.
Rosanne Cash will return to the Guthrie Theater on Monday.

At 64, Rosanne Cash says women her age have 'a lot to say, and a lot less to lose'

Rosanne Cash is not shy about speaking out when she's 64: "Women my age still have a lot to say, and we have a lot less to lose."
Heart Bones: Sabrina Ellis and Har Mar Superstar.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Iron & Wine with Calexico, Sudaka Fest, Heart Bones and the Suburbs

This big gigs for Feb. 14-20, also including Tove Lo, Ellis Delaney's release party, memorials for Ed Ackerson and Lexii Alijai, Rosanne Cash, a Louisiana twofer and a Paisley Park party with Meshell Ndegeocello.
Brandi Carlile performed at the Fillmore Minneapolis in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Brandi Carlile goes small for big event to open Fillmore Minneapolis

The Twin Cities hadn't experienced the singer-songwriter in an all-acoustic setting.
Brantley Gilbert, shown performing in 2013 at the Minnesota State Fair, played to a crowd of 8,000 at the Target Center on Friday.

Rowdy Brantley Gilbert brings bro-country to town

There was nothing subtle about his AC/DC concert for rednecks .
Roddy Ricch makes his Twin Cities debut Tuesday at First Ave after scoring a No. 1 hit with "The Box."

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Brantley Gilbert, Roddy Ricch, Korn, Brandi Carlile

The big gigs for Feb. 7-13, also including Robert Randolph, Grace Potter, an Otto's Chemical Lounge farewell and release parties by Sarah Morris, Sam Cassidy and Gambler's Daughter.
King Princess and her Cheap Queen Tour made a stop Feb. 4 at the Palace Theater in St. Paul.

It was coronation night for King Princess at St. Paul's Palace

In an exuberant Palace show, the singer proved that she has the stuff of pop royalty. All she needs now are hits.
Theo Crocker played the Instrument of Hope last summer at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Made from bullets and hope, this trumpet will sound at Minneapolis concerts

A Twin Cities singer is bringing the Instrument of Hope, inspired by a Florida school shooting, to Minneapolis in honor of her sons' school lunchroom helper: Philando Castile.
Michael Kiwanuka plays the Palace Theatre on Monday touting his most acclaimed album yet.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Michael Kiwanuka, King Princess, Drone Not Drones, Armin van Buuren

The big gigs for Jan. 31-Feb. 6, also including Andrew Broder's Don't [Bleep] This Up fundraiser, Trippie Redd, Juliana Hatfield, Temples and Erik Koskinen's residency kick-off.
Alicia Keys, from left, and Dua Lipa present Billie Eilish with the award for best new artist at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 202

Billie Eilish sweeps Lizzo in a historic Grammy battle of the newcomers

Lizzo seized her Grammy moment, but 18-year-old Billie Eilish pulled off a historic sweep of the top prizes.
In an effort to make up for a faux pas, female performers and host Alicia Keys were added to the 2019 Grammy Awards. Keys returns this weekend to host

Ouster of the Grammys' first female boss taints a strong year for women

Despite a stellar list of women nominees, misconduct claim has tainted Sunday's show.
Cardi B performed for only 50 minutes when she played Target Center in July.

How short is too short for a concert? Twin Cities fans, promoters weigh in

Headliners should play for well over an hour — but it all depends on audience expectations.
Yola performed at the Fine Line early in her sold out show Wednesday night.

In Minneapolis debut, British singer Yola proves she's award-worthy

The Grammy-nominated newcomer impressed in her Twin Cities debut.
North Mississippi All-Stars, led by brothers Luther Dickinson (second from right) and Cody Dickinson (right), return to town Saturday at the Fine Line

Twin Cities concerts of the week: North Mississippi Allstars, Your Smith, Crystal Method, Dolly Parton tribute

The big gigs for Jan. 17-23, also including Jordan Davis, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Marielle Allschwang and Ron Pope.
Yola performed during the Americana Honors & Awards show in Nashville.

The road from homelessness to happiness brings British singer Yola to Minneapolis

British vocalist Yola has gone from homelessness to happiness — with an Americana album, no less.
Yola makes her Twin Cities debut Wednesday at the Fine Line after earning a best new artist nomination in the Grammys.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Yola, Nico Muhly with Pekka Kuusisto, Cash and Joplin tributes

The big gigs for Jan. 10-16, also including a benefit for the Cedar Ave. tower fire victims, G. Love, Peter Asher, Taylor McFerrin, the Mad Ripple Hootenanny and Atmosphere.
Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of the Cactus Blossoms are once again settling in for weekly Monday gig at the Turf Club in January, where Charlie Parr is

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, Keith Sweat and Radio K residency

The big gigs for Jan. 3-9, also including Rachael Kilgour, Le Vent du Nord and the Whiskey's Funky Sweater party.
Soul Asylum (Winston Roye, Dave Pirner and Michael Bland are pictured.)credit: Soul Asylum

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Snowta festival, Soul Asylum, Cheap Trick, PaviElle

The big gigs for Dec. 27-Jan. 1, also including Heiruspecs, Anonymous Choir, Flipp and the Honeydogs.
The Jayhawks return to the Palace Theatre on Saturday fresh off recording a new album. From left: Tim O'Reagan, Karen Grotberg, Gary Louris and Mark P

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Jayhawks, JD McPherson, the Bad Plus, Little Fevers

The big gigs for Dec. 20-26, also including Kinda Kinky, Mark Mallman's Peace on Earth, Paul Metsa's 40th anniversary, the BoDeans, Sara Evans and a Willie Walker tribute.
From left, siblings Fred, Jearlyn, Billy, Jevetta and J.D. Steele sang at Jevetta’s Golden Valley home.

In a Twin Cities living room, the Steeles cook up their 35th annual Christmas show

The Steeles' annual Christmas show is a family affair, brewed up in a Golden Valley living room.
"Gift box with sheet music wrapping paper, on a red background with plenty of copy space.The wrapping paper is a section of Beethoven's Symphony Numbe

20 gift ideas for the music lovers on your holiday list

Giving the gift of music can be tricky. We're here to help, with suggestions for music lovers of all ages and styles.
Duluth trio Low marks the 20th anniversary of its "Christmas" album Friday at the Fitzgerald Theater.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Holiday shows by Low, Blenders and Sounds of Blackness plus Brother Ali & D4

The big gigs for Dec. 13-19, also including the Joy Formidable, Alexander O'Neal and 311.
Katy Perry, who performed last weekend during the B96 Jingle Bash in Rosemont, Ill., stuck to her hits Monday at Jingle Ball.

Katy Perry, Camila Cabello sparkle at the Jingle Ball in St. Paul

  KDWB’s Jingle Ball can be viewed as an annual December parade of pop stars in one long teen-thrilling concert on a school night. Or…
FILE - In a Sunday, April 7, 2019 file photo, Reba McEntire arrives at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena,

Country star Reba McEntire announces spring concert at Xcel Energy Center

Tickets to see the three-time Grammy winner go on sale Friday.
Camila Cabello made her local headlining debut at the State Theatre in 2018 and returns Monday as part of Jingle Ball.

The best concerts in the Twin Cities this week: KDWB Jingle Ball, Deadmau5, Curtiss A's Lennon tribute

The big gigs for Dec. 6-12, including Blackalicious, J.S. Ondara, Nicholas David and holiday shows by Martina McBride, Sunny Sweeney, Katie McMahon and the Old 97's.
Plaid lads: Chan Poling, Steve Roehm and John Munson of the New Standards met up at the Sample Room in northeast Minneapolis before a rehearsal last w

Chan Poling rebounds from health issues for New Standards holiday show

After a health hiatus, Suburbs rocker Chan Poling is back in action with the New Standards and a pileup of projects.
Prince performing in 1982 at Met Center in Bloomington.

How '1999' made Prince a star: 'This album was the turning point'

An expanded reissue of Prince's breakthrough album shows how prolific he was in the early '80s.
Elvis Costello is back in town to play the State Theatre on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Elvis Costello, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Booker T., Ike Reilly

The big gigs for Nov. 22-28, also including Ronnie Milsap, Poliça, Anthony Hamilton, Bobby Rush, Nancy Harms and Leo Kottke's usual Thanksgiving week gig.
In this April file photo, Kris Kristofferson performs in concert at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa.

Kris Kristofferson's unexpectedly excellent Minneapolis concert had a sense of farewell to it

Review: Kris Kristofferson's excellent 100-minute concert had a sense of farewell to it.
Lizzo performed at the Armory in Minneapolis.

This may be the Grammys' greatest rookie year, with Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X in the race

Newcomers will lead a strong field for best new artist when Grammy nominations are announced Wednesday.
Jerry Douglas joins hometown faves Pert Near Sandstone at First Ave on Saturday.

The best Twin Cities concerts of the week: Jesca Hoop, Novalima, Marc Cohn, Pert Near Sandstone

The big gigs for Nov. 15-21, also including Charlie Parr, Okee Dokee Brothers, King Diamond, Julia Jacklin and Blues Traveler.
Maren Morris

Rising star Maren Morris might bring bunch of CMA awards to Armory concert

Country-pop star Maren Morris may have a fresh bunch of awards in hand when she arrives in Minneapolis on Saturday.
Pat Hayes has been leading the Lamont Cranston Band for 50 years.

Leader of Minnesota's Lamont Cranston Band celebrates 50 years of the blues

Pat Hayes of the Lamont Cranston Band celebrates 50 years of the blues.
Angel Olsen plays First Avenue on Tuesday amid raves for her new orchestral album, "All Mirrors."

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Angel Olsen, FKA Twigs, Trisha Yearwood, Kris Kristofferson

The big gigs for Nov. 8-14, also including an all-star benefit at Hook & Ladder, a Neil Young birthday tribute, Bishop Briggs and more.
Country singer Alan Jackson performed at We Fest in 2007.

In Detroit Lakes, one-year hiatus for We Fest is 'a tug at the heartstrings'

New owner could make Detroit Lakes country music event "king of the mountain again."
"Scars to Your Beautiful" singer Alessia Cara opened for Shawn Mendes at Xcel Energy Center in June.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Celine Dion, Alessia Cara, Tyler Childers, Prairie Fire Lady Choir

This week's big gigs, also including Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tiffany Young, Janiva Magness and New Order's Peter Hook.
Prince at his Minneapolis home in April 1978, pictured in “The Beautiful Ones.”

Like Prince, his new memoir 'The Beautiful Ones' can't be pigeonholed

Filled with ephemera, photos and philosophy, "The Beautiful Ones" is incomplete yet revealing.
Dan Piepenbring had never written a book before Prince tapped him to write his memoir.

In brief time together, Prince made co-author believe he could do the 'impossible'

He'd never written a book before. But Dan Piepenbring carried on after Prince's death.
Bob Dylan played upright piano during his concert Oct. 24, 2019, at the Mankato Civic Center. As he offered tunes from all six decades of his recordin

Singing his best in decades, Bob Dylan seemed recharged in Mankato concert

With a revamped band, he was focused, impassioned and arguably singing at his best in decades.
Miranda Lambert in concert in Orlando in 2019.

Nashville 'wild card' Miranda Lambert brings an all-women lineup to St. Paul

Headed for St. Paul this weekend, country star Miranda Lambert lets her gut be her guide.
Explosions in the Sky (photo by Nick Simonite)

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Fall Jazz Fest, Explosions in the Sky, Trey Anastasio

The big gigs for Oct. 18-24, also including Frank Turner, Ingrid Michaelson, Big K.R.I.T., Tom Morello and Mpls. Ltd. XX
Nancy Wilson, left, and Ann Wilson of Heart perform during the "Love Alive Tour" at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Thursday, July 11, 2019, in C

Heart and Joan Jett show the power of sisterhood in St. Paul concert

After a bizarre falling out, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson rocked in vintage form at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center.
A hologram of Roy Orbison performed “live” in Los Angeles with a band of backup musicians.

Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison in Minnesota? Hologram tours of old stars are the hot new concert trend

Buddy Holly is coming to town with Roy Orbison? Yes, rock 'n' roll holograms are here to stay.
Nancy Wilson (left) and Ann Wilson of Heart perform at 2012's MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert in Los Angeles.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Heart/Joan Jett, Sara Bareilles, Charli XCX & Sleater-Kinney

The big gigs for Oct. 11-17, also including the Mavericks, Lucy Dacus, Tegan & Sara and Stiff Little Fingers.
Jade Bird performs during the Americana Honors & Awards show Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Jade Bird, Aaron Neville, Stereolab & Lizzo

The big gigs for Oct. 4-10, also including Jon Pardi, Stereolab, Tech N9ne, Sam Fender and release parties by Dan Israel and MaLLy.

No joke, '80s stars Toto are back on top as they come to Minneapolis

Bound for Minneapolis, the 1980s hitmakers are having a pop culture resurgence thanks to "Africa."
Maggie Rogers, shown performing at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in April, sang to a sold-out crowd Thursday at the Armory.

Joyful star Maggie Rogers reaches a new high in Minneapolis

Newcomer gave an exuberant, captivating show at the Armory.
Nooky Jones

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Nick Cave, Clairo, Luke Combs, Nooky Jones

The big gigs for Sept. 27-Oct. 3, also including Bon Iver, Branford Marsalis, Martin Garrix, 4 Bitchin' Babes, the Waterboys and Temptations.
Scott Avett and Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Avetts with Trampled, Ranky Tanky, Maggie Rogers, Post Malone

The big gigs for Sept. 20-26, also including Sophie Allison, Michael Feinstein, Avril Lavigne, Donna Grantis and the Melvins & Redd Kross.
The Jonas Brothers perform at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Minnesota fans are still a 'sucker' for the Jonas Brothers

The boy-band members proved themselves as grown-up pop stars.
Janet Jackson performed during her Metamorphosis residency in Las Vegas in May 2019.

In concert, Janet Jackson shows her love for Minneapolis

Review: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis spark her winning concert at Treasure Island.
Janet Jackson performed her “Metamorphosis” show in Las Vegas, which she wrapped up a month ago. Now she’s back on the road and headed to Treasu

To Janet Jackson, Minneapolis will always be her 'home away from home'

Balancing motherhood and megahits, Janet Jackson talks about her return to Minnesota, where she recorded her breakthrough albums.
The technicolor dream boat that is the Jonas Brothers hits Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Jonas Brothers, Tycho, Vince Gill, K. Flay

The big gigs for Sept. 13-19, also including Nick Lowe, Of Monsters & Men, Brittany Howard, Lee "Scratch" Perry and release parties for Porcupine and Sean Anonymous.

Minnesota's 11 biggest contributions to country music

1 Dave Dudley of Spencer, Wis., records "Six Days on the Road" at Kay Bank Studios in Minneapolis. One of the first big truck-driving…

Sting gives private Ordway show to promote his upcoming play

Review: He'll return in April to star in "The Last Ship" about his hometown in England.
Thomas Rhett performed Saturday, May 5, 2018 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. ] AARON LAVINSKY • Review of co

Thomas Rhett brings country music's winning son-and-father act to St. Paul

With his pop-soul leanings, Rhett charmed young women, and his dad brought the beer.
Lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend rocked out early in the Who’s Friday night show at the Xcel Center.

Who are they? The Who rocks with an orchestra in St. Paul

It wasn't a bad idea, but the great British band lacked power and volume in its Xcel Energy Center show.
A.J. Haynes, center, and her band Searatones perform at 7th St. Entry on Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: The Who, Massive Attack, Seratones, Lil' Wayne with Blink-182

The big gigs for Sept. 6-12, also including Lenny Kravitz, Thomas Rhett, Social Distortion and Static Panic's EP release party.
Roger Daltrey, left, and Pete Townshend of the Who will perform in St. Paul with a 52-piece orchestra. The two are working on an album of mostly new m

Headed to St. Paul with orchestra, Townshend says the Who is brand, not band

The guitar and songwriting legend talks "Tommy," Woodstock and the Who's next album.