Brian Balleria of Minneapolis:
1 Professor Longhair exhibit, New Orleans Jazz Museum. It’s carnival season, y’all, and what better way to celebrate than to relive the life and art of the patron saint of New Orleans piano?
2 Jay’s Longhorn Reunion Concert, the Parkway. The kickoff for Mark Engebretson’s documentary “Jay’s Longhorn,” the concert featured bands of the ’70s and ’80s that made this downtown Minneapolis club ground zero for the Twin Cities punk scene.
3 Larry Englund. The Twin Cities lost a unique and talented music supporter to cancer. An avid fan, writer, DJ, KFAI programmer and all-around swell guy, he will be truly missed.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Ariana Grande has the top three songs on Billboard’s Hot 100. She’s the only artist other than the Beatles in 1964 to do this. She’s having a major moment. And deservedly so.
2 Remembering Willie Murphy. In a memorial service in a church and an all-star evening of music in a bar, the pillar of Minneapolis music was remembered as a genius musician, anti-establishment maverick and curmudgeonly friend. Most memorable were friend Steve Mayer’s putting Murphy’s career and lyrics in perspective and the Bumblebees reuniting for a strikingly funky set.
3 Brynn Cartelli, Xcel Energy Center. Opening for Kelly Clarkson, this 15-year-old “Voice” winner showed an adult voice, reminiscent of Adele’s. Her singing was more impressive than that of the other opening act, country star Kelsea Ballerini.