There are still some free tickets left for the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band's "Brass in Blue" concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Bemidji High School Auditorium.
Composed of 10 brass players, one percussionist and a vocalist, the ensemble's broad repertoire includes patriotic favorites, jazz standards, orchestral pieces transcribed for smaller groups and new compositions. The band enjoys a broad audience, from opening the Grand Teton Music Festival to playing the national anthem for a Minnesota Timberwolves game and musical master classes for college level musicians across the country, they have enjoy a faithful following. The sponsors of the event, the Bemidji Pioneer and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting have tickets available at both locations: PBB in downtown Bemidji and the Pioneer next to the Eagles south of town.
Bob Mansfield, tenured professor from San Diego State University, will present a program that will start at with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, with a lecture from 6:15-7 p.m. at the Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center, 311 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids. The program will reveal how the ancient indigenous peoples of the North American continent used art as a vehicle to connect to the spirit world. Mansfield will show the importance of the shaman as the spiritual leader and artist and will examine the cultures of the Inuit, Maya and Native American tribes, and locales such as the Yucatan, Chaco Canyon, Serpent Mound, Poverty Point, Bear Butte and Sierra San Francisco. Mansfield will also examine the nomadic designs of the Native Americans such as tepees, papooses and canoes and show how remarkably sophisticated they were. The 45-minute presentation will be illustrated with digital images he has collected and taken over the last 40 years at most of the sites mentioned here.
- Bemidji Area Church Musicians will present clarinetist Tim Wilson at noon today, Wednesday, Aug. 17, at First Baptist Church, 1555 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W. A free-will offering will be accepted in support of the music scholarships given each year. A luncheon will be served following the concert for a nominal cost.
- Icebox Radio Theater continues "The Koochi-Koochi Tour" at 7 p.m. today at the Pete Peterson Band Shell in Smokey Bear Park, International Falls. "Love Lines," a romantic comedy about three couples waiting in the U.S. Customs line on a hot summer afternoon. The show will also feature original songs, skits and comedy. It is presented as part of the Concerts in the Park series, which feature live music and comedy Wednesday nights all summer long. Admission is free, but spectators must provide their own seating. The entire show will be simulcast on Sound Stages Radio at www.soundstagesradio.com.
- "Monroe Crossing," a popular bluegrass ensemble will present a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, as part of the downtown Park Rapids renovation completion celebration. Bring a chair. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium, 401 Huntsinger Ave., Park Rapids. This concert is part of an all-day celebration that will culminate with a fireworks display.
- Lance Benson and Mark Bauer with opening act Sunny Era (a Minneapolis-based ensemble of indie rock/world fusion music) will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 317 Beltrami Ave. N.W. The restaurant stops taking food orders at 9 p.m.
- Solo musician and vocalist David Lee will perform a variety of songs by many different artists starting at 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at Brigid's Cross.
- Timberline, with Kari Munson and John Essig, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, in the amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park. This new program for the easy listening and classic folk musicians will include more banjo strumming by Essig. This concert is free and open to the public, but a park sticker is needed for admission.
- "Bluebird," a trio of Kari Munson, Anne Meredith-Will and Jesica Conrad noted for its tight harmonies, will perform at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, in the amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park. The group will also debut some of the songs from its new CD, which will be released in the near future. Both concerts are sponsored by Headwaters School of Music and the Arts and Lake Bemidji State Park and made possible in part by Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota Legislature.
- Mudsong will return to the stage by popular demand at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Lake Bemidji State Park amphitheater. Selections from the group's new CD can be heard at www.maryo.org/mudsong. Mary Overlie and band will welcome you to their free concert, which is a foray into the blues -- their way.
- If you haven't seen it yet, these are the final performances of a charming, funny and poignant coming of age story at the Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. Performances of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" will be at 3 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday through Aug. 27.
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" by Neil Simon is a semi-autobiographical (as is much of Simon's work) play about the coming of age in Brighton Beach (Brooklyn), New York, of Eugene Morris Jerome. Set in the late 1930s, Eugene, a young teen, fantasizes about being a shortstop for the New York Yankees and about the girl of his dreams. Simon's play is a witty commentary about his middle-class family and his trials toward attaining young adulthood.
The play is directed by Mary Harrison, a veteran director at Long Lake Theater. Actors Jacob Froelich, Andrew Browers, Shannon Geisen, Brad Livingston, Shelley Mahowald, Jouannah Morgan, and Michelle Farlee promise an evening that will make you laugh and cry. Tickets are $16 for adults and are available by calling 218-732-0099 or visiting www.longlaketheater.com.
- "Playing the Bill," an original musical comedy by Steve Saari, will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, and run through Aug. 29 at the historic Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji. A 2 p.m. matinee will be on Sunday, Aug. 28. The book, music and lyrics were written by Saari, who is directing a cast of local and guest artists. The story is about the waning years of vaudeville: the troopers, shadow-painted survivors and lost souls all swept up in the immediate aftermath of the stock market crash of 1929. The cast is headed by Chuck Deeter, with DeeJay Arens, Vicki Stenerson, Vicki Wangberg, Kevin Cease, Joel Ward, Krista Grover and Jackie Davis, who will entertain the audience with reminiscences of times gone by. Karen Bradley is the vocal coach and Julie Quanrud is building costumes to accompany Cheryl Winette's props. The play is recommended for mature audiences because of some adult language and mild sexual content. For more information, call 556-1777. Tickets are $10 for adults/seniors and $5 for students.
Anyone who would like to learn about upcoming Minnesota State Arts Board grant opportunities and fall deadlines is invited to attend a free session from 5:30-7:30 p.m. today at the Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave. N.W.