Tonight on MinneCulture, an encore presentation of Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders, produced by Daniel Zamzow. This past weekend the band was in Memphis, and advanced to the semi-finals of 29th annual International Blues Challenge. To learn more about Crankshaft, visit crankshaftmusic.com.
Orkestar Bez Ime is Bulgarian for “orchestra without a name.” The local group formed in 2002 to bring Balkan dance music to the Upper Midwest. It performs across the country with a repertoire that reaches from Albania to the Ukraine, with plenty of stops in-between. For more information, visit rogaria.com. This Live from Minnesota segmenta was produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow.
Bangla Fusion, produced by MJ Gilmore
Joy Islam, Tushar Ahmmed and Palbasha Siddique are three impassioned Bangladeshi musicians who have made Minnesota their home. Fusing Bangla musical roots with other genres including folk, classical, heavy metal, and pop, they’ve made an indelible mark in the Twin Cities. KFAI producer MJ Gilmore talks to Joy, Tushar and Palbasha about how their personal journeys have influenced and affected their music.
Last Sunday night, the Okee Dokee Brothers won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album for their 2012 release, “Can You Canoe?” Inspired by nature, the local duo entertains children and adults with messages about environmental stewardship. In tonight’s encore presentation, MinneCulture presents Rediscovering the Mississippi River audio documentary by Flor and Peter Frey that features music by the Okee Dokee Brothers. Learn about the Mighty Miss—dubbed “messippi” by the Ojibwe Indians—which begins at Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota and flows into the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana. Covering more than 2,000 miles in 31 states, the Mississippi River has been the creative inspiration for American legends, folklore, and literature, including the Okee Dokee Brothers. For more information, go to okeedokee.org.
Short features from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series:
1. International Wolf Center
The Minnesota gray wolf, also called the timberwolf, is a symbol of the Northland. Featured in artwork, on logos, and as the state’s basketball mascot, wolves are part of the landscape. In 2012, the Department of Natural Resources instituted its first wolf hunt in nearly 40 years, creating controversy among those who believe wolves should be protected. KFAI producer Britt Aamodt traveled to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, and filed this story.
2. Minnesota Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra
The Minnesota Sinfonia is a professional, nonprofit chamber orchestra that offers free concerts and educational programs in and around the Twin Cities. Programs are accessible and welcome all ages. The Minnesota Sinfonia also provides show-and-tell sessions to students as part of its Music in the Schools program. KFAI producer Will Wright has the story. For more information, visit mnsinfonia.org.
3. Busker Larry Havluck
For more than 30 years, Larry Havluck has been a busker, or street musician, performing in downtown Minneapolis skyways, on the U of M campus, and occasionally in cafes and clubs. Openly gay, the Native American guitarist/singer/songwriter uses music to express political, satirical and social justice themes. Produced for KFAI by Dixie Treichel.
5. Art sleds at Powderhorn Park
Sledding is a part of Minnesota culture. If you grew up here, chances are you’ve flown down a hill at top speed—and were hopefully lucky enough to make it to the bottom unscathed. For the last six years during the dead of winter, art and sledding have brought people together in Powderhorn Park. Producers Barbara Jean Meyers and Melissa Koch attended the 2013 Art Sled Rally and produced this story for KFAI.
MinneCulture celebrates Black History Month with features from our 10,000 Fresh Voices series.
1. Nellie Stone Johnson
Nellie Stone Johnson was born in 1905, with an ancestral mix of African-American, Native-American, and Euro-American heritage. She grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota, moved to Minneapolis, and by the late 1930s was one of the most influential forces in the state’s civil rights and labor movements. Nellie was the first women to serve on a national contract committee to negotiate equal pay for women, the first woman vice-president of the Minnesota Culinary Council, the first woman vice-president of the Local 665 Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, and the first African-American elected to citywide office in Minneapolis, when she won a seat on the Library Board in 1945. In the 1940s she spearheaded the drive to create the Minneapolis Fair Employment Practices department, which was the first of its kind in the nation. Nellie was also was an adviser to Minneapolis mayor Hubert Humphrey, and a founding member of the committee that worked out a merger between the Farmer-Labor Party and the Democratic Party—today’s DFL. She urged feminist groups to include women of color in the ERA fight, and was an activist with the NAACP for more than 60 years. Her political activism continued right up to her death in 2002 at the age of 96. The “Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship” was founded in 1989, and is awarded annually to minority students from union families. Produced for KFAI by Dixie Treichel. Oral history materials of an interview with Nellie Stone Johnson in 1975 provided courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, with assistance from Ryan Barland.
2. “Clarence “Cap” Wigington”:http://www.ampers.org/pieces/clarence-cap-wigington
Clarence “Cap” Wigington was the nation’s first Black municipal architect, and a senior designer for the city of St. Paul for 34 years. Sixty of his buildings in Minnesota’s capitol city are on the historical registry, including the Highland Park Water Tower. KFAI producer Will Wright talks to biographer David Taylor about the architectural legacy of Cap Wigington.
3. Author and filmmaker David Grant
David Grant is a Twin Cities-based screenwriter and playwright. He’s been commissioned by the Minnesota Historical Society, Mixed Blood Theater and the Great American History Theatre, and is a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship. He’s written drama for Twin Cities Public Television, HBO New York and Showtime. His recent travel memoir traces his ancestry to Ghana, Africa. Grant is currently writing a young adult novel about Abraham Lincoln. KFAI’s Cyn Collins has the story.
4. Louis Alemayehu: Poet, Musician, Community Elder
Louis Alemayehu is a poet, musician, educator and community elder. Born in Chicago of African and Native heritage, he developed artistically during the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s. Now a Minnesota resident, Louis is a founding member of Twin Cities music group Ancestor Energy—a group he’s performed with for more than 25 years. KFAI producer Dixie Treichel has more.
5. Chemist Jeannette Brown
Jeannette Brown was the first African-American woman to earn a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She spoke to KFAI producer Will Wright about her experience at the U of M in the 1950s, and her book, “African American Women Chemists.”
A performance inspired by Africa and hosted by Ms. Kenna at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis. This independently produced show featured spoken word, live music, dance and more, with a focus on the African diaspora. The theme Africans in the Snow comes from poem by Louis Alehemayu, who was inspired by a photograph of two Somali women in a snowy Minneapolis parking lot.
Broken Bicycles play an in-store performance at Hymie’s Vintage Records, featuring music from the band’s latest CD, “Minneapolis.” Produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow. For more information, visit brokenbicycles.bandcamp.com.
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