Sunday, April 19, 2009

Next Weekend

We've got one of those weekends coming up at The Cedar where I'm tempted just to bring a sleeping bag for the Green Room so I don't have to leave. It starts with Friday night, April 24, where we have a unique opportunity from our Friends at the University of Minnesota's Department of Lusophone African, Portuguese, and Brazilian Studies to present an extraordinary singer from Cape Verde, Carmen Souza. This is going to be one of those special shows of a young, relatively unknown talent of extraordinary depth that only comes along every so often, and I strongly suggest not missing it. Her performance is part of an International Symposium on Popular Music Studies: African Musics of the Portuguese- and French-Speaking Worlds.

On Saturday at 2:00 pm The Cedar holds an Open Community Meeting, where we will be discussing our strategy for dealing with the economic challenges that so many arts organizations are facing in the current economic climate. Funding cuts have hit The Cedar hard in 2009, throwing a large gap into our budget and threatening our future. The Cedar's staff and Board have worked hard to develop action plans for the organization to survive, even thrive in the face of these challenges.

Later that evening, The Dakota will be presenting a special CD release concert by The Bad Plus joined by Wendy Lewis, performing music from the extraordinary For All I Care recording.

Following this show, at around 10:00 pm that night, just outside The Cedar, we will be celebrating the lighting of our newly restored marquee, with cheap drinks, fire dancers and stilt walkers! Some of us who've been with The Cedar for many years never thought we'd see the day where our historic marquee would be restored to its former glory. But thanks to support from McKnight and our patrons, we did it, providing a beacon for the avenue and an strong statement that The Cedar is indeed alive and well!

Finally, we'll close this extraordinary weekend on Sunday the 26th with another startling new vocal talent, this time from Scotland. The charming and beautiful Julie Fowlis will bring her band to The Cedar for her Twin Cities debut. Julie sings in a particularly rare form of Scottish Gaelic, and she has such a particularly sweet tone that it's hard to believe she was musically trained not as a singer but rather a wind player!

Quite a weekend... plan accordingly!

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