The Cedar Cultural Center’s Executive Director, Rob Simonds, to retire at the end of the current season
MINNEAPOLIS, MN JULY 8th, 2015 -
Executive Director Rob Simonds is retiring from his current leadership role at The Cedar Cultural Center (501c3 music venue/Cedar Riverside neighborhood). A Cedar Board member since 1991, Simonds assumed his current role in 2007, and will leave a lasting imprint on The Cedar as well as the music community in the Twin Cities and beyond. His time at the helm of The Cedar will be marked by the return to fiscal health, the expansion of the depth and breadth of the music programming, and the institutionalization of the organization into the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood enabling a leadership role in reviving the rich musical tradition of the Somali immigrants that call Minneapolis their home. This transformation is a great example of Simonds’ leadership of The Cedar truly embracing its mission of “intercultural appreciation through music”.
It feels like summer at The Cedar, but June finds us with a busy schedule, including back-to-back nights with Afro-Peruvian band Novalima and the far out sounds of Colombian experimentalists Meridian Brothers; a new duo project by singer/songwriters Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell (The Pine Hill Project); English songbird Olivia Chaney; Japan noise rock band MONO; Brian Blade's Mama Rosa project; and a few good laughs with Kyle Dunnigan, among others. Download the calendar, print it and stick it on your fridge, or peruse our complete online listings with plenty of videos available to bring you up to speed.
The Cedar is thrilled to announce the fifth round of the 416 Commissions Program. With funding from Jerome Foundation, The Cedar will commission six local, emerging artists to compose and perform new music at The Cedar as part of the 416 Commission performance series in early 2016. Each round continues to showcase the boundless talent, innovation, and drive of the musicians in our community.
The Cedar's May 2015 roster features a strong line-up of singer-songwriters (Stephin Merritt, Reina Del Cid, Tom Brosseau, William Fitzsimmons, Cheryl Wheeler, Tyrone Wells, and more); revered Chilean folk band Inti-Illimani; Cinco de Mayo with Salsabrosa, Alma Andina, and guest Mexican singer Esti Price; Brazilian choro music by Trio Brasileiro; and an ambient music tour de force by legendary producer and musician Daniel Lanois. Download the calendar, print it and stick it on your fridge, or peruse our complete online listings with plenty of videos available to bring you up to speed.
The finale performance with Aar Maanta and his band was the perfect conclusion to an amazing week-long residency. Over 700 people were in attendance and included Somali community members, Augsburg College students, and other music fans. Here is what local journalist Chris Riemenschneider had to say about the show (as published in vita.mn): "A textbook example of what makes The Cedar Cultural Center special occurred Saturday when Somali singer Aar Maanta...
Aar Maanta recently stood next to a three-foot-tall image of his face as one of his music videos played on a pull-down screen.
Surrounded by girls in brightly colored headscarves and guys in even more vibrant athletic shoes, the popular London-based singer talked about his work at The Common Table in Minneapolis.
On Monday, April 6, Aar Maanta kicked off his residency week as the featured panelist in a discussion about the impact of radicalization and change of culture on Somali music. Other panelists included Bob Stacke - Midnimo Music Coordinator and Professor and Music Department Chair Emeritus at Augsburg College, Community Organizer and Cedar Board Member Abdirizak Bihi, and Spoken Word Artist Asma Farah. The panel was moderated by the Director of Augsburg College's Pan-Afrikan Student Services, Mohamed Sallam.
Cedar Cultural Center artist residences bring Somali music, issues to wider audience
Article by Mila Koumpilova, Star Tribune, April 7, 2015
The Cedar Cultural Center recently set a challenging goal: get its Somali and non-Somali audiences to mingle.
By all accounts, London-based artist Aar Maanta, with his growing mainstream following, might be just the guy to make that happen. Maanta is in town as part of a partnership with Augsburg College to give local millennials a taste of Somali culture. Maanta’s music is rooted in issues facing his fellow Somali expatriates, but he also has a growing following outside the diaspora.
“There’s a lot of negativity associated with our community, and it’s because of cultural misunderstanding that these issues arise,” Maanta said. “These kinds of events bring people together.”