Music concerts and Art Exhibits


    Freedom Jazz Festival offers live, free concerts

    MINNEAPOLIS – Swinging into its eighth year, the Freedom Jazz Festival is a live, jazz-in-the park concert held annually on the second Saturday in August at Minnehaha Falls Park. With the help of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the jazz festival has grown from its meager beginnings of 300 attendees to more than 3,000 devoted fans.

    The same great, talented artists, musicians and performers who play in all the hot spots in town – including Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry and Yolande Bruce- will perform at this free event from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at the park band shell and pavilion, located at 4801 Minnehaha Ave. S. Festival promoters say there is no other gathering like this anywhere in the Midwest north of Chicago.

    This year’s theme is "Sending Jazz Blessings to New Orleans." The waters of Minnehaha Falls empty into the Mississippi River, which eventually reaches New Orleans, where Jazz was born. The festival staff will ceremoniously gather water from the falls and place a vessel on stage, where it will absorb the blessing of the music of the Freedom Jazz Festival. At the end of the concert, the water will be poured back into the falls and send the "blessed" music down to New Orleans, honoring the past, present and future of Jazz.

    Aside from the music, the festival will include face painting, roving entertainers, interactive art events and other kid-friendly activities. Local food vendors will also serve up tasty treats to satisfy a wide variety of culinary tastes.

    For more information, visit or e-mail [email protected].

    Benedictine Center exhibits art of Kirsten Malcolm Berry

    MAPLEWOOD, Minn. – The art of Kirsten Malcolm Berry will be exhibited at the Benedictine Center in Maplewood from September 3 through October 16. She is a local artist whose work has been exhibited and commissioned by churches and organizations throughout the country.

    Berry uses watercolors to combine scriptural text with images that connect the "sublime" to everyday life. "After a while, we may tune out the words and images we find in scripture," she explains. "I’m trying to snap people back to attention again."

    On September 17, the Benedictine Center will host a conversation with the artist from 2 to 3:30 p.m. It will include a 45-minute slide show presentation and discussion, followed by a walking tour of the exhibit.

    Berry’s art will be on display every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until October 16. The exhibit is free and open to the public. It is part of the Center’s "Arts & Spirituality" series designed to show how art sustains and expands the spiritual imagination and deepens a sense of awe for the beauty of creation. Future exhibits will feature art from St. Paul’s Monastery, the sculpture of Peter Lupori, Peggy Thompson watercolors and a juried show of young people’s spiritual interpretations of life.

    For more information, go to and follow the Benedictine Center link, or call (651) 777-7251 or e-mail [email protected] The Benedictine Center is located at 2675 Larpenteur Avenue East in Maplewood.

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