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Martin Fröst withdraws from SPCO concerts; Prince film to air on TPT

Sang Yoon Kim
Courtesy of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
The concerts will now feature SPCO principal clarinet Sang Yoon Kim (above), concertmaster Steven Copes and associate principal viola Hyobi Sim.

Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst has canceled his upcoming appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra because of a shoulder injury. He was scheduled this weekend to play Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in St. Paul and the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Next weekend, he would have conducted and performed the SPCO’s three season finale concerts at the Ordway Concert Hall.

Fröst was also set to play the Mozart at the Turf Club on Tuesday, June 4.

The concerts will now feature SPCO principal clarinet Sang Yoon Kim, concertmaster Steven Copes and associate principal viola Hyobi Sim.

Programming has been adjusted. This weekend’s concerts would have included works by Telemann, Piazzolla, Bartók and a pair of klezmer dances by Fröst. These will be replaced by Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence.” At the Turf Club, instead of Fröst’s klezmer dances, the musicians will play Weber’s Rondo for Clarinet and Strings. The season finale concerts were to include selections from Fröst’s original “Genesis” project. They will now be all-Mozart events.


These would have been Fröst’s final concerts as an SPCO artistic partner. He was named an artistic partner in November 2014, soon after making his SPCO debut with what Bruce Coppock, then the SPCO’s president, called “perhaps the most kinetic, awe-inspiring performances SPCO audiences have ever experienced.” Fröst’s November 2015 debut as artistic partner was canceled when he developed Meniere’s disease, an inner-ear disorder. When he was finally able to come in February 2016, he was warmly welcomed.

NEA names new Jazz Masters

Bobby McFerrin, another artist with SPCO history, has been named to the 2020 class of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters. A vocalist, composer, conductor, educator, and a genius of vocal improvisation who’s comfortable in all genres, McFerrin spent seven years with the SPCO starting in 1994. His tenure was in the pre-artistic partner days, and his official title was creative chair. Now a 10-time Grammy winner, McFerrin was last here in June 2018, when he performed eight sets at the Dakota with four members of his Voicestra a capella choir.

The three other new Jazz Masters are saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk. Mitchell, part of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), was last here in March 2018 for the Walker’s “Sonic Universe” project. Workman is a key figure in the avant-garde whose history includes recordings with John Coltrane and two years with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Kirk helped establish New Jersey’s full-time jazz radio station, WBGO, 40 years ago; it’s still going strong. Her late husband was Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Bobby McFerrin has been named to the 2020 class of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.
MinnPost photo by John Whiting
Bobby McFerrin has been named to the 2020 class of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.
We’ll take any excuse to mention the Jazz Masters. The highest honor our nation bestows on jazz artists, the program has often been endangered. Begun in 1982, it was nearly eliminated in 2012, to be replaced by something called the NEA American Artists of the Year awards, which would have had two meaningless main categories: Performing Arts and Visual Arts. The 2012 Jazz Masters would have been the Last Masters. That didn’t happen after all, but whenever the NEA is threatened, which happens pretty regularly, so is the Jazz Masters program.

The picks

Friday at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church: “Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age” book launch. Darrel J. McLeod’s memoir has already won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction and it’s not even out yet; Milkweed’s official pub date is June 11. In a series of fractured vignettes, McLeod tells his own story of growing up in remote Alberta, proud to be Cree; his chaotic home life; and his experiences with abuse, violence, gender fluidity, queerness and grief. With music by McLeod and guitarist Joan Griffith and light bites from the Sioux Chef. Doors at 7 p.m., program at 7:15, reception at 8:15. FMI. Free, but please register.

Friday at the Walker: McKnight Media Artist Fellowships 2019. Fellows E.G. Bailey, Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., Kiera Faber and Wenonah Williams will share their work and reflect on the past year. The panel will be hosted by FilmNorth’s Eric Mueller. Includes a screening of short films made by FilmNorth students and a Q&A. 7 p.m. in the Walker Cinema. Free.

“Half Healed,” the official Edina Art Fair art, by Pete Sandker, the 2019 Edina Art Fair Featured Artist.
Edina Art Fair
“Half Healed,” the official Edina Art Fair art by Pete Sandker, the 2019 Edina Art Fair Featured Artist.
Friday through Sunday at 50th and France: 53rd Edina Art Fair. With more than 280 artists, Edina is second in size only to Uptown – but it’s first on the calendar. Edina always kicks off the vibrant Twin Cities art fair scene, and crowds seem ready to stroll, shop, and enjoy the entertainment and food over the three-day weekend. Scope out ceramics, jewelry, glass, photography, wood carvings, mixed media, 2D pieces, fine art, wearables and sculptures; stop by the music stage in the Lunds & Byerly’s parking lot. A free shuttle will run daily from the Southdale Shopping Center, but you can’t get there via the France Ave. bridge over the Crosstown, which is under construction. There will be bike corrals at the fair. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. FMI.


Saturday on your teevee: Prince’s “Rave UN2 the Year 2000.” In honor of Prince’s 61st birthday (what?!?), TPT will air a film of his 1999 New Year’s concert. Recorded live at Paisley Park Studios, it features some of his biggest hits (“Let’s Go Crazy,” “Purple Rain,” “1999”) and fan favorites (“Nothing Compares 2 U”), with a great band and guests including Maceo Parker. Bobby Z will join the broadcast from the TPT studios. 8 p.m. Saturday on TPT 2. Also 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, on TPT Life and 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, back on TPT 2.

Monday at the Dakota: Theater Latté Da’s “Hedwig” in Concert. Tyler Michaels King was off the charts in the title role of Latté Da’s most recent musical. If you missed the sold-out show, if you love the music, if you just want to know why Michaels King is all that, come to the Dakota. When we ran into him at the Jungle earlier this month, he said he would not be in drag for his Dakota shows – or “maybe a little drag.” Eye makeup? He’ll be backed by the Angry Inch Band (Jendeen Forberg, Jason Hansen, Mayda Miller, Jakob Smith, Jay Owen Eisenberg) and will also perform additional songs from the glam-rock era. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($30-40).

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