Staff Directory 8660039

Jon Bream

Music 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
Willie Nelson receives the LBJ Liberty and Justice For All Award from Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, left, and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President L

6 cool things in music include Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and Bob Dylan childhood photos

Shoutouts, too, to Beale Street Music Fest, Rickie Lee Jones and Ambrose Akinmusire.
Taylor Swift brings “The Eras Tour” to Minneapolis on June 23-24.

8 must-see Twin Cities concerts by the Queens of Summer — from Taylor Swift to Beyoncé

Women will rule the season, from Hall of Famers Janet Jackson and Madonna to newer names Brandi Carlile and Pink.
Janet Jackson

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for May 25-31 include Janet Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Ondara, Caterwaul and Wild Nights at the Zoo.
Billy Porter brought his Black Mona Lisa Tour to the State Theatre in Minneapolis Tuesday night.

Review: Billy Porter dazzles with ballads, bangers, Broadway panache and sumptuous outfits

His 2 1⁄2-hour Minneapolis debut featured preaching, politics and a preview of his album due in September.
Niall Horan performed at Minnesota State Fair in 2018

Niall Horan will perform in St. Paul again in the summer of 2024

The former One Direction singer and coach on "The Voice" is headed to Xcel Energy Center on July 7, 2024.
Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones talks about her jazzy new album, 'Chuck E.'s in Love' and Prince's 'Raspberry Beret'

She will be playing standards and jazzy oldies at the Dakota this week.
Paul Simon’s opening farewell is “Seven Psalms”

6 cool things in music this week include Paul Simon, H.E.R. and De La Soul

Shoutouts, too, to Kenny Garrett, Marilyn Maye and Lauren Falls.
Tanya Tucker posed for photos and signed autographs after her concert Thursday at Mystic Lake Casino

Review: Country legend Tanya Tucker brings her humanity, hits and dog Stella to Mystic Lake Casino

The spontaneous Country Hall of Famer was unpredictable and fun in her brief but rewarding show.
Hozier will be at the Electric Fetus at 3 p.m. today

Meet rock star Hozier for free at 3 p.m. today at the Electric Fetus

After performing at First Avenue, the "Take Me to Church" hitmaker is touting an album due in August.
Shania Twain performed Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn..

Review: Shania Twain shows sell-out crowd in St. Paul why she's iconic

With her peppy country-pop hits, she proves she's still the one even though she hasn't had a hit for 19 years.
Tanya Tucker will sing at Mystic Lake Casino before dropping a new album, coproduced by Brandi Carlile

The Big Gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for May 18-24 include Tanya Tucker, Seal, Billy Porter Jr., Y La Bamba and Rickie Lee Jones.
Dave Pirner will lead Soul Asylum at the Bandshell Tonight series at the Minnesota State Fair

Soul Asylum, Kevin Bacon and Nikki Lane among the 900 free performances at 2023 Minnesota State Fair

The stages will present many Minnesota acts including the Steeles, Jamecia Bennett and Kiss the Tiger.
Billy Porter arrived at the Oscars in 2019.

Billy Porter insists 'fashion is my job' but he'll sing new songs and Broadway faves in Minneapolis

On his inaugural concert tour, he will preview his first album of original material since 1997.
Luke Combs performed Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Review: Country superstar Luke Combs delivers big time with ballads and barroom romps at the Vikings stadium

Red-hot Lainey Wilson starts the evening right.
The Woody Guthrie Center is right next door to the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Why fans of Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Woody Guthrie are flocking to Tulsa

The Bob Dylan Center is marking its first anniversary in Tulsa, alongside several other rich music sites.
Marilyn Maye at Crooners in 2020

Review: No frog or phlegm can stop the ever-entertaining 95-year-old Marilyn Maye in Minnesota

In the first of four nights at Crooners, the cabaret queen relied on her humor, heart and husky voice.
Matt Berninger of the National, the band of sad dads.

6 cool things in music this week include the National, Bruce Springsteen and Bobbie Nelson

Shout outs, too, to Joe Henry, José James and MTV News.
Ondara grabbed a songwriting grand prize worth $50,000.

Minneapolis' Ondara wins $50,000 grand prize in international songwriting competition

The Kenya native's "An Alien in Minneapolis" triumphed over 15,000 entries.
T-Pain, seen at a Vikings game last fall, will perform after a Twins game on June 15.

T-Pain, Carly Pearce set for post-Twins game concerts at Target Field

The shows are free with tickets to the game, but a limited number of on-field tickets will be available.
Nashville star Caitlyn Smith returns for a residency in her home state of Minnesota

The Big Gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for May 11-17 include Luke Combs, Shania Twain, Bright Eyes, Crowded House, Off! and Caitlyn Smith
Luke Combs is coming to the Vikings stadium and might go fishing in Minnesota.

Country superstar Luke Combs is coming to the Vikings stadium, but will he join the fishing opener?

The Everyman singer promises no frills but plenty of hits as "Garth Brooks 2.0."
Bruce Springsteen’s March 5 concert in St. Paul is now heard on SiriusXM

6 cool things in music this week include Bruce Springsteen, Gordon Lightfoot and Rock Hall of Fame inductees

Shoutout, too, to Richard Thompson and local high school musicals.
Tom DeLonge of the reunited Blink-182, which are headed to St. Paul

The Big Gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for May 4-10 include Blink-182, Alice Cooper, Hayley Kiyoko, José James and Disturbed.
An impassioned Graham Nash performed in his first of three sold-out nights at the Dakota in Minneapolis.

Review: Thoughts of Joni Mitchell and David Crosby spark Graham Nash concert in Minneapolis

Every time the Rock Hall of Famer mentioned Mitchell or other collaborators, he seemed more inspired.
Jose James

Minneapolis jazz singer José James channels his inner feminist to interpret Erykah Badu songs

With an 18-year-old woman saxophonist, he returns to the Dakota to blend jazz, soul and hip-hop.
Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds, seen at Target Center in 2022, will headline Twin Cities Summer Fest at Target Field in July.

Imagine Dragons, Killers booked for back-to-back concerts at Target Field in July

The Twins are adding Twin Cities Summer Fest to their lineup this season, with tickets on sale on Friday.
Smokey Robinson seduced Saturday night at Grand Casino Hinckley.

Review: Ooh baby, did Smokey Robinson seduce the Minnesota crowd at Grand Casino Hinckley

Ageless Motown royalty thrilled with his supple voice, stylish showmanship and unstoppable songs.
James Corden and Adele get ready for a final Carpool Karaoke

6 cool things in music include James Corden's Carpool Karaoke and Cornbread Harris' 96th birthday

Shoutouts, too, to Brennen Leigh, Sierra Ferrell and Adeem the Artist.
Stokley will give a rare hometown performance at Celebration 2023 at Paisley Park in June

Stokley, Chaka Khan and Chuck D will be part of Celebration 2023 at Prince's Paisley Park

The annual event, June 8-11, will feature performances, panels and unreleased Prince music and concert footage.
Feist performed at the Eaux Claires festival in 2017 and is coming to First Avenue finally touting her first album since then.

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities area this week

Highlights for April 27-May 3 include Sabrina Carpenter, Feist, Buddy Guy, Smokey Robinson and Graham Nash.
Micky Dolenz, right, and Michael Nesmith in 2019.

Hey, hey, Micky Dolenz is the last Monkee and he's coming to Minneapolis

Dolenz talks about the Beatles, the Monkees' business and his upcoming book with photos of Hendrix and Stills.
Graham Nash will return to Minneapolis for three nights at the Dakota.

Graham Nash says David Crosby was 'a very interesting couple of people'

Ahead of his Minneapolis gigs, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer talks about Joni Mitchell, America and his new album.
Dancers from the Art of Dance Studio, a studio Prince funded with his Love 4 One Another foundation, perform at Paisley Park on the seventh anniversar

Prince's lessons still resonate seven years after his death

A Brooklyn Park dance troupe he funded was part of the festivities at Paisley Park on Friday.
Prince is the subject of a new book “Prince: All His Songs.”

6 cool things in music this week include the War and Treaty, Dan Israel and a Prince song guide

Shoutouts, too, to Avery*Sunshine, Rogue Valley and MNspin.
Kathleen Hanna is back on tour with Bikini Kill for the first time since their 1997 breakup.

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in Twin Cities area this week

Highlights for April 20-26 include Bikini Kill, Lizzy McAlpine, Lewis Capaldi and Chase & Ovation
Erykah Badu, pictured at the Armory in 2021, is coming to Xcel Energy Center on June 30

No massive wait this time because Erykah Badu is coming to St. Paul on June 30

The empress of neo-soul's 2021 Armory concert was magical — 20 years after her previous local headline gig.
Keith Urban is headed to Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 26

Country superstar Keith Urban will return to Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 26

With Lindsay Ell opening, tickets will go on sale on Friday.
Adeem the Artist at Margie’s in Andover

Review: Country singer Adeem the Artist sells humor and empathy in Twin Cities concert

Between tunes at Margie's in Andover, the nonbinary singer philosophized about religion, transphobia and life.
A posthumous EP by Mac Miller is in the works

6 cool things in music this week include Mac Miller, Hardy and Beach Boys salute

Shoutouts, too, to the Ezra Collective, Christian McBride's New Jawn and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Adeem the Artist, Nashville’s empathetic singer-songwriter, is coming to Andover

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for April 13-19 include Wiz Khalifa, Mark O'Connor, Yeat, Adeem the Artist and the War and Treaty.
Hardy, who has scored hits in country and rock, headlines at Fillmore Minneapolis.

Hardy is making lots of noise in country and rock music and here's why

The hot Nashville star is headed to the Fillmore Minneapolis before playing stadiums with Morgan Wallen.
Joni Mitchell

6 cool things in music this week include Joni Mitchell, Kelsea Ballerini and 'Hamilton'

Shoutouts, too, to Ezra Collective, Sona Jobarteh and David Foster documentary.
John Mellencamp rocked Thursday at his first of three nights at the State Theatre.

Review: John Mellencamp turns Mpls. concert into theater, stand-up comedy and a smokin' good time

In his first of three nights, he played hits, little-known songs, singalongs and tunes to dance to.
In 2021, fans waited to enter Paisley Park to pay their respects on the fifth anniversary of Prince’s death.

Paisley Park to offer reflections and a dance party on 7th anniversary of Prince's death

DJ Lenka Paris, who worked many of Prince's parties, will spin on April 21 at his Chanhassen complex.
John Mellencamp will rock for three nights at the State Theatre

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities area this week

Highlights for April 6-12 include John Mellencamp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Future, Tommy Stinson and Hardy.
John Mayer performs Saturday, April 1, 2023 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Review: John Mayer wins over St. Paul crowd with conviction, personality and acoustic tunes

He was a philosopher, instructor and music critic but could have been more of a guitar hero.
Rosalia grabs the ears of a 5-year-old Minnesota girl

6 cool things in music this week include Rosalía, Jason Isbell and Snarky Puppy

Shoutouts, too, to Shemekia Copeland, Danilo Pérez and "Air" movie soundtrack.
Chaka Khan is headed to the Minnesota State Fair with Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men and Chaka Khan are headed to Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 27

The annual R&B oldies show is the sixth concert announced for this year's grandstand series.
John Mayer returns to St. Paul with his solo acoustic tour.

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for March 30-April 5 include John Mayer, Lil Wayne, Lissie, Haley and Ezra Collective
The Cure’s Robert Smith takes on Ticketmaster

6 cool things in music this week include Taylor Swift, SXSW fest and the Cure fighting Ticketmaster

Shoutouts, too, to Linda Ronstadt and Sona Jobarteh.
Paul Metsa in his Minneapolis “office” at Grumpy’s Bar.

Minnesota music mainstay Paul Metsa finds a new direction home

After moving to Duluth, he delivers "Alphabet Jazz," a book of poems, prose and puppies.
Ingrid Andress headlines at the Fine Line.

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for March 23-29 include Ingrid Andress, Yo La Tengo, J.I.D., Keshi and Snarky Puppy
Bruce Springsteen at Xcel Energy Center

6 cool things in music this week included Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Lisa Marie Presley

Shoutouts, too, to Morgan Wade and all the superstar women coming in concert this summer.
Shemekia Copeland returns to the Dakota

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for March 16-22 include Shemekia Copeland, Maya Hawke, Larkin Poe and St. Patrick's Day shows.
Carrie Underwood, who rocked Target Center in October, will perform July 21 at Treasure Island Casino amphitheater.

Country queen Carrie Underwood will rock Treasure Island Casino amphitheater on July 21

She dropped a new single last Friday on her 40th birthday and tickets will go on sale this Friday.
Kelsea Ballerini performed “Big Jeans and Faded Dreams” at the Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.

Review: Emotional, entertaining Kelsea Ballerini proves she's ready for prime time

The country star performed for the biggest crowd in her career as a concert headliner.
Billy Porter knows how to make an entrance. What will he wear to Minneapolis’ State Theatre in May?

What will the unstoppable Billy Porter wear for his May 23 concert in Minneapolis?

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday via the State Theatre.
Journey’s Neal Schon is feuding with other band members.

6 cool things in music include Cory Wong, Mark Wood and Neal Schon's feud with his Journey bandmates

Shoutouts, too, to Black Opry Revue and Seo Linn.
Sharon Isbin

Top American classical guitarist teams with Indian music master in 'Strings for Peace' in Minneapolis

St. Louis Park native Sharon Isbin returns to the Dakota for a collaboration of sarod and guitar.
Kelsea Ballerini headlines Friday at the Armory in Minneapolis

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for March 9-15 include Kelsea Ballerini, Morgan Wade, Weyes Blood, Ari Lennox and Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
James “Owl” Walsh, leader and original member of the local rock band Gypsy, in November 2021.

James 'Owl' Walsh, stalwart Minnesota musician from the band Gypsy, dies at 74

"He was a leader, an organist, a pianist, a producer, a killer vocalist and a very, very underrated songwriter."
Bruce Springsteen with saxophonist Jake Clemons and drummer Max Weinberg early in their set Sunday night. The Springsteen and E Street Band 2023 Tour

Review: Springsteen proves it all night during his latest marathon in St. Paul

It was the most rewarding and fulfilling late-career Twin Cities concert by a rock icon of long standing.
Cécile McLorin Salvant dazzled at Walker Art Center

6 cool things in music include Bruce Springsteen, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Tina Turner musical

Shoutouts, too, to Jason Isbell, Chapel Hart and Wild Horses.
After kicking off his tour in Tampa, Bruce Springsteen heads to St. Paul amid debates over his ticket prices.

What price for Springsteen? Fans debate ticket controversy for the Boss' return to St. Paul

Ticketmaster's dynamic pricing policy resulted in tickets for more than $1,000, depending on supply and demand.
Elle King performs during CMA Fest 2022 in Nashville, Tenn.

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for March 2-8 include Elle King, Black Opry Revue, Cory Wong, Subtronics and the Boss.

6 cool things in music this week include Pink, Bruce Springsteen and Iowa's Surf Ballroom

Shoutout, too, to the Twin Cities all-star tribute to Donny Hathaway.
Chapel Hart — Trea Swindle, Danica Hart, Devynn Hart — are headed to the Mall of America and Mystic Lake Casino.

Twin Cities-bound Chapel Hart are breaking barriers in country music

Launched on "America's Got Talent," the trio has landed at the Opry and the Apollo but not on country radio.
Cécile McLorin Salvant will premiere “Ogresse: Envisioned” at Walker Art Center.

Jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant adds animation for Minneapolis musical

She will display her love for visual arts by premiering animation for her original musical at Walker Art Center.
“America’s Got Talent” favorites Chapel Hart are coming to Mall of America and Mystic Lake Casino

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 23-March 1 include Muse, Chapel Hart, Bob Weir, Los Tigres del Norte and Cécile McLorin Salvant
Dionne Warwick

6 cool things in music this week include Dionne Warwick, Kelsea Ballerini and Amanda Shires

Shoutouts, too, to Twin Cities artists Mayyadda, Ricki Monique, Maya Marchelle and Ethan Yeshaya.
Carly Pearce

St. Paul-bound Carly Pearce never expected to be that Grammy girl

The rising country star will open for Blake Shelton on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.
Maggie Rogers returns to the Armory in Minneapolis

The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 16-22 include Blake Shelton, Maggie Rogers, Margo Price and Red Wing's Big Turn Fest.
Rihanna performed during the halftime show at the Super Bowl LVII.

The biggest takeaway from Super Bowl halftime — Rihanna is pregnant

The "Diamonds" hitmaker set a Super Bowl record but her performance was far from glittering.
After hearing her name called for record of the year, Lizzo brings perspective to the Grammys.

6 cool things in music this week include Lizzo, Bono and David Crosby

Shoutouts, too, to Semisonic, Ana Popovic and President Biden's stand on ticket fees.
Killer Queen, a U.K. Queen tribute band, is headed to Canterbury Park this summer

Canterbury Park announces the first four concerts in its Friday-night summer series

Night Ranger, Smash Mouth, Randy Houser and Killer Queen, a Queen tribute band, are the first of 10 planned shows.