Lance Benson at Brigid’s Cross this weekend and a heads-up on the upcoming Nordic Showcase.

Wednesday, we went to Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub to see the artist for the month,Eli Balbach–well worth seeing. We also stayed for lunch–a libation and French Dip–and saw the Lance Benson posters.  He is going to be there on Saturday night (May 15) from 8 p.m. until midnight—go for a while, for the night, but go!  He is an amazingly talented young Bemidji musician and composer.  Remember the kitchen closes at midnight.

Those Sons of Norway are at it again–-A Nordic Showcase.  Take the children and the grands to a immersion in nordic culture on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.  The NorSweDane Dancers will be there, Monte Draper will demonstrate wood carving, lefse makers, poets, music, crafts, authentic clothing.  There will be booths, exhibitions, demonstrations, stories and fellowship.  All for FREE, that’s right, FREE!! 

A top handbell ensemble, the Strikepoint, will appear at Bangsberg Recital Hall at 7 p.m.,Saturday, May 22—more to come on this group but want to get a "mark your calendar" in first.

Al Belleveau is busily installing new pieces for the Bemidji Sculpture Walk—thanks Al and the board of the Sculpture Walk Committee for your work in making Bemidji, "First City of the Arts."  The public art is what sold us on locating to Bemidji. 

updates for some upcoming events

There’s no way that bargain hunters can pass up the White Elephant Sale and fund raiser for the  Beltrami County History Center this Saturday.  The volunteers have been collecting the "gently used items" for months. There will be plenty of homebaked goodies for sale too.  There was a picture from last year that I tried to paste into the blog but it wouldn’t work so you’ll just have to take my word that this event has many fine items for sale and perhaps for future gifting.  

THIS CONCERT IS CANCELLED DUE TO MEDICAL ISSUES. THE SPONSOR IS LOOKING TO RE-SCHEDULE IN THE SPRING. For those who like to travel up to the summer Winnipeg Folk Festival to hear the musical mastery of Mark Reeves in concert, stay in Bemidji!  I checked out his website but it is difficult to pick out some simple facts about his playing because his public relations people filled the site with superlatives and abstractions. The simple truth  is that he is a fine musician who is able to bring his audiences to lows and highs with flair.  Local musician Lance Benson is the force behind the upcoming performance for the public as a follow-up to a "private" concert in his own home. Those who attended asked for a repeat performance and Benson decided to open it up to a larger audience but still in an intimate setting, the Headwaters School for Music and the Arts. Tickets will be sold at the door for the 8 p.m. concert for a pocket-comfortable $10. If you want to check out more information, look at his website, www.markbenson.com.

     Doc Severinsen’s life reads like a fairy tale: when Little Doc wanted to play an instrument, his father, the local dentist, wanted him to play the violin. Little Doc, then only seven years old, insisted on a brass instrument and settled for the sole trumpet available in his hometown of Arlington, Oregon. His father Big Doc, an accomplised musician helped his young son with the new trumpet, and within a week the youngster was invited to join the high school band. By the age of 12, Little Doc won the "Music Educator’s National Concert."  A true child prodigy who lived up to his musical potential; in his high school years Severinsen was hired by big band, Ted Fio Rito Orchestra.  After a stint in the army during WW II, yes, here is an authentic WW II veteran, he toured with the Charlie Barnett Band, Tommy Dorsey and then the Benny Goodman bands. Doc (no longer nicknamed Little Doc) arrived in New York City in 1949 to play for the NBC studio bands and was "discovered" by the famed Skitch Henderson, conductor of the "Tonight Show Band" and invited to play first trumpet in 1962. Severinsen took over as Music Director for the show and stayed with it retiring with Johnny Carson after 30 years on the air.    

     Severinsen was noted for his flamboyant costumes which Carson quipped about every evening at the beginning of the show—that is–after the "big band trumpet blast" that introduced the late night entertainer. One would think that an almost 85 year-old trumpeter would retire but he contines to wow audiences and discover new talent.  In 2004, Severinsen fulfilled a dream and designed the Destino trumpet which is made by Severinsen Custom Trumpets in Denver, Colorado. Every trumpet made is personally played by him and sometimes taken on the road for a "break-in" stint.  More to come on this amazing man and the show he will be bringing to Bemidji on February 28.