Check out our playlist featuring all of our March 2017 artists on Spotify, and read about our tip picks below.
Salif Keita – Wednesday, March 1st
Hailing from Djoliba, Mali, Salif Keita was ostracized from his community at a young age. He was born albino (considered to be a sign of bad luck) and was shunned as a result. He found solace in music and soon rose to fame with his ability to “fuse organic sounds with contemporary electronic rhythms.” In the mid 70’s he left Mali due to political unrest and moved from place to place, briefly living and recording in Paris, before returning to Mali around the turn of the century. Since then, he has opened up his own recording studio in Bamako, Mali and has recorded some of his most critically acclaimed work there. Throughout his career he has explored many styles of music, ranging from afro pop, salsa, rhythmic funk, jazz, and rock. Through it all, he has been known as “The Golden Voice of Africa,” pushing musical boundaries at every turn while championing for a wider understanding and acceptance of albinism. Check out the video below to hear for yourself Salif Keita’s golden voice in this acoustic rendition of his song “Tu vas me manquer” (I’ll Miss You).
This event is sponsored by Mshale African News, a community newspaper whose core mission is the enhancement of the African immigrant communities in the Americas through the collection and distribution of high quality news, information and entertainment. Lace up your dancing shoes, and buy tickets for the show on Wednesday March 1st here.
Solas – Thursday, March 2nd
Solas (named after the Gaelic/Celtic word for light) first began making music together in 1996. Soon after, they were given national exposure with a slot on A Prairie Home Companion. Their unique take on Celtic folk music, and their knack for finding “contemporary relevance in timeless traditions,” quickly won them fans. Their most recent album is a celebration of the years they have spent together and their history as a band. Entitled All These Years, the album reunited all the past members of Solas. The result is an outstanding album that manages to pay homage to the past while avoiding the trappings of nostalgia. This clip of Solas performing “Pastures of Plenty” at Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio highlights their infectious energy and passion for breathing new life into traditional Celtic music.
After twenty years of touring together and the release of twelve albums, the members of Solas have decided they want to take time to explore endeavors outside of the band. While they are not breaking up, they have announced this will be their last tour “for a while.” Don’t miss your chance to see them at The Cedar Thursday March 2nd. Pick up tickets here.
This event is sponsored by the Irish Fair of Minnesota, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and cultivate Irish culture and to preserve a rich heritage of traditions for future generations.
Mbongwana Star – Friday, March 3rd
Hailing from the city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbongwana Star has made it their mission to “get out of the Afro-African straightjacket into which everyone tries to put African bands.” Their lineup consists of two members of the former rumba funk band Staff Benda Bilili, Coco Ngambali and Théo Nzonza. After the break up of Staff Benda Bilili, Coco and Théo began to look towards the future. With the help of producer Liam Farrell (aka Doctor L) they began recording music under the name Mbongwana Star. Théo chose the name because Mbongwana is the word for “change,” and that is exactly what they were hoping to accomplish. Rounded out by four additional members, the music Mbongwana Star makes together defies labels. To get an idea of the incredible sound this six piece creates, check out this live performance of their song “Nganshé,” which perfectly captures their danceable energy and inclusive spirit.
They are currently running a limited world tour with only three dates in America. The Cedar will be the first stop of their trip on Friday March 3rd. With local R&B group Zuluzuluu opening, it will be a night you don’t want to miss! Pick up tickets here.
Opening for Mbongwana Star is local group ZULUZULUU. Hailing from Minneapolis, the music created by the collaboration of Greg Grease, DJ Just Nine, MYK, “Proper-T,” Captain Big Bounce and Trelly Mo also defies categorization. They have described themselves as everything from hip-hop to funk, from soul to Afrobeat. First coming together in 2014, they collectively “set out to bring a new, exploratory modern sound” and cite their influences as “the greats of funk, soul, and jazz” adding to it their own “electronic excursions, hard grooves, Afro-futurism and soulful melodies.” They recently announced a new album entitled What’s The Price. The album, which is scheduled to drop online June 24th, explores the psyche and the search for Black Excellence. This past August they dropped by Radio K to play some songs. Check out the recording of their performance of their song “Fall Behind” below.
Lake Street Dive – Friday, March 3rd and Saturday, March 4th (SOLD OUT)
Founded in 2004 in Boston Massachusetts, Lake Street Dive consists of Bridget Kearney, Mike “McDuck,” Mike Calabrese, and Rachael Price. The four met while attending the New England Conservatory of Music and took their name from Lake Street here in Minneapolis, which happens to be Olson’s hometown. They originally came together with the intention of recording experimental country music, but soon switched paths, opting instead to create a soulful sound all their own, which lies somewhere on the spectrum of folk rock and motown, with obvious jazz influences. They cite their influences as ranging from classic Jazz to 60’s Soul to Rock and Roll, going on to say that they “want to sound like the Beatles and Motown had a party together.” Their conservatory training shines through their music in their obvious mastery of their respective instruments. Their great technical skill mixes with something unnamable and special to make Lake Street Drive a great musical force. Check out this Garden Sessions version of their song “Hello? Goodbye!” below.
Lake Street Dive is playing two nights in the First Avenue main room: Friday March 3d and Saturday March 4th. Tickets are going fast, get yours while you still can here!
Jesca Hoop – Tuesday, March 14th
Born in Santa Rosa, California, Jesca Hoop spent her late teens and twenties living off the grid in various wilderness areas of Northern California, Wyoming and Arizona. Her travels no doubt influenced her sound, which has been described as “minimalist yet brimming with energy.” Her latest album Memories are Now, released on February 10th with Sub Pop, was recorded over the course of eight nights in a Moroccan restaurant. Working in the restaurants limited off-hours, Jesca Hoop and company broke down the restaurant and turned it into a functional recording studio every night; moving countless chairs, tables and hundreds of pounds of recording equipment in the process. This dedication to the music is obvious in the finished album. With clear roots in folk and rock, Hoop’s music comes together with electronic influences to produce something largely experimental that is as “riveting as it is reflective.” This undressed version of Tulip, featuring Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards, highlights the three qualities most often attributed to Jesca Hoop: confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship.
Jesca Hoop will be playing The Cedar with Lowland Hum Tuesday March 14th. Pick up your tickets here.
The Twilight Hours – Saturday, March 25th
First joining forces to create the psychedelic, flowery pop band Trip Shakespeare, Matt Wilson and John Munson have been playing music together for nearly twenty years. After Trip Shakespeare they went on to do a short stint as the folk duo The Flops before deciding to go back to their roots. Wilson and Munson joined forces with Jacques Wait, David Salmela, and Steve Roehm, and the rock band The Twilight Hours was formed. Named after the “crepuscular moment, when the world hovers between day and night,” The Twilight Hours have since released two albums. Their most recent Black Beauty is a must listen. Check out the video for “Alone” below.
The Twilight Hours will be playing at The Cedar Saturday March 25th with The Counterfactuals and Fathom Lane. Get your tickets here.
Andy Shauf – Thursday, March 30th
If you have ever woken in the early afternoon to the hazy recollection of substance altered events that took place the night before, then you will find a kindred spirit in Andy Shauf’s 2016 release The Party. Throughout The Party Canadian singer songwriter Shauf deftly tells the story of party from the filtered perspective of the morning after. Originally recorded in Germany, and then re-recorded in a studio in his hometown Regina, the album features Shauf on every instrument but the strings. The result is 37 minutes of music which “melds chipper British pop and breezy folk.” To get a sense of Shauf’s music and his creative persona, check out the music video for the album’s opening track The Magician below.
Andy Shauf will be playing at The Cedar on Thursday March 30th with Juniper Douglas. For more information about the show and to purchase tickets, visit The Cedar’s event page here
For a full look at all the events we have going on, check out our upcoming events.
Brenna Tierney – Spring Marketing Intern