Music @ Franconia: June and July

If a 30-acre park full of ambitious, playful, and thought-provoking sculpture isn’t enough to warrant a visit to Franconia Sculpture Park, consider the upcoming Music @ Franconia music series. Beginning on June 28th, Franconia Sculpture Park invites you to enjoy a day of music, dancing, and of course, big sculpture. The Music @ Franconia concert series begins with the Blues and Soul Festival on June 28th followed by a Bluegrass and Folk Festival on July 12th, Global Rhythm Festival on August 16th, and American Roots and Country Festival on September 13th. The concert series is hosted in our Earthwork Amphitheatre, a performance space designed and built by artists Drew Goerlitz and Ali Della Bitta. Pack a blanket and some lawn chairs and spend the afternoon with us!

Festivals run from 12-6pm with food and beverages available for purchase from on-site vendors. Artist-led tours of the sculpture exhibition will be offered during band breaks and will focus mainly on our outdoor studio and in-progress sculptures. Participants will have the chance to talk with current artists in residence about their process. Tour guides encourage group discussion and facilitate active participation and critical thinking from visitors. We want you to share your thoughts with us!


A snapshot from last year’s World Music Concert featuring Xibaba, a Brazilian Jazz group

As summer hits its stride, there is no better way to celebrate than at an outdoor music festival. On Saturday, June 28th, the Blues and Soul Festival comes to one of Minnesota’s most imaginative and creative outdoor venues. Blues and soul artists including the Kurt Jorgensen Band, Alison Scott, Lynn O’Brien, and Izzy Marcil will be playing at our outdoor amphitheater, surrounded by sculpture, green grass and blue skies.

Blues Soul

 Clockwise from left: Lynn O’brien, Kurt Jorgensen Band, Izzy Marcil, and Allison Scott.

First up is Izzy Marcil, a young contemporary singer songwriter from Minneapolis and Fargo who brings her impeccable songwriting and sweet voice to her performance.

Lynn O’Brien, self-taught singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, takes the stage at 1:15.  Lynn’s original compositions dabble in a variety of styles and instruments, her powerful and pure voice bring to life her thoughtful songs and intricate melodies. In the words of one reviewer, “Lynn O’Brien illuminates a room with music. Her voice will invite you to smile, laugh, and love the world.”

At 2:30 Minneapolis’ own Alison Scott will take the stage. Her soulful organic sound is the kind of soul music that audiences expect to hear. Alison has established herself as one of the most popular live acts in Minneapolis, selling out the Dakota Jazz Club over a dozen shows in a row.  Jon Bream of the Star Tribune says, “She’s got pipes, personality, and an undeniable soulfulness.” A soulfulness we can’t wait to hear resonating here at Franconia Sculpture Park.

Finally at 4:00, the Kurt Jorgensen Band will take the Blues and Soul Festival to its close. The band is fronted by Kurt Jorgensen who was recently awarded the Minnesota Music Academy’s “Songwriter of the Year” award. Shifting effortlessly between blues, soulful gospel and rock, the Kurt Jorgensen Band will provide an exciting conclusion to the Blues and Soul Festival.

If Bluegrass and Folk is more suited to your tastes, join us for the Bluegrass and Folk Festival on July 12th at the Music@Franconia series. Featured artists are Reina del Cid, Roe Family Singers, and the Barley Jacks.


Clockwise from left: Reina del Cid, The Roe Family Band, and Barley Jacks

Reina del Cid is a self-described “girl next door,” but her music is anything but ordinary. Her pure vocals and her excellent band bring to life her songs. The band’s secret weapon is flatpicker Toni Lindgren, whose bluegrass and rock inspired guitar licks promise to blow Franconia’s outdoor audience away.

Roe Family Singers are described as a “Good-Time, Old-Time Hillbilly band from the Mississippi headwaters community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN.”  Husband and wife team, Quillan and Kim Roe serve up a blend of original music and contemporary takes on your favorite old-time, gospel, and folk tunes, and are sure to raise a ruckus.

The Barley Jacks, a Folk/Bluegrass/Americana ensemble are wrapping up the day of Bluegrass and Folk music at Franconia.  Made up of musicians, Brian Wicklund, Joe Cruz, Kevin Rowe, and Joel Arpin, the group plays in a number of varied styles including blues and bluegrass, classical and celtic, R&R and bebop.

Music@Franconia is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund. The program is also made possible through the generous support of many community and business sponsors.  Thank you!



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