You’re invited to help usher in a new era at McNally Smith College of Music
McNally Smith is transitioning to a nonprofit college, and we’re hosting a special event to celebrate this milestone. Join us for Amplify The Future — an evening of live music and entertainment, featuring a VIP experience, silent auction and performances from the Twin Cities’ top music talent, including The New Standards, Toki Wright, Adam Levy, Pippi Ardenia and more! All proceeds from ticket sales help fund student scholarships.
- Reception, concert & silent auction – $150 per ticket
- 6:00pm reception | 7:30pm concert
- Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the reception
- Concert & silent auction – $40 per ticket
- 6:30pm doors | 7:30pm concert
- Light hors d’oeuvres will be served, cash bar available
Comprised of Twin Cities-based musicians Chan Poling (The Suburbs), John Munson (Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare) and Steve Roehm (Billygoat, Electropolis), The New Standards got together originally to play and sing their favorite songs — particularly post 1960’s pop music — in a stripped-down acoustic setting, making room for solos and arrangements with the freedom of jazz, and yet never fully abandoning the modest soul of pop and rock. They appear as a trio in intimate clubs like City Winery in NYC and The Dakota Jazz Club, and also as the ringmasters of a widening array of talented musicians and guest artists in larger settings such as their popular Holiday Shows. “What a terrific combo. Everything they do is a surprise.” – Greil Marcus
Raised in a Buddhist household, immersing himself in black history, world culture, and community work, Rhymesayers recording artist Toki Wright’s awareness of the diverse world we live in is translated through his content-driven music. He has taken paths that run the gamut from a non-profit youth organization in North Minneapolis to work with war-affected children in Northern Uganda. As an artist, Wright’s travels have taken him throughout the United States and Canada as support and hype-man for Brother Ali. Other performance credits include Soundset, Coachella, CMJ, Bumbershoot , Paid Dues, Scribble Jam, and SXSW. Wright is the Department Head of the Hip-Hop Studies program at McNally Smith College of Music.
Adam Levy is regarded by many to be one of the great American songwriters of his era. His newest solo endeavor might be his best and most original work to date. Levy is probably best known for his nearly 20 years of work as lead singer/songwriter for The Honeydogs. Levy’s songwriting has always been musically expansive, exploring styles as diverse as American roots music, psychedelia, soul, world, jazz, and classical music. His lyrics have always been thoughtful, literary and provocative, and have garnered him international critical accolades and fans. Adam’s wry wit and incisive lyrics are wrapped inside layers of deceptively beautiful melodies and hooks that come to life with his signature great guitar work. Paste Magazine once said Levy’s songwriting captured “the zeitgeist of our time.”
Pippi Ardennia is a natural entertainer, sultry at times, always powerful and exciting, but what sweeps you away is the electric raw emotion that emanates from her to you, telling a story in song like you’ve never heard before, a natural power in nature. A Chicago native and singing since she was 13 years old, Ardennia has performed at many of the Windy City’s most respected jazz clubs — from the Burning Spear and Mr. Kelly’s, to the famous Rosebud on Rush, Green Dolphin, Chicago Symphony Center and the Taste of Chicago. Since moving to Minnesota, Pippi has appeared at the Dakota Jazz Club, and currently is co-producing as starring in a highly acclaimed concert series at the Historic Landmark Center. She has performed for such notables as President Clinton, Mayor Daley, Tony Bennett, and Liza Minnelli and performed with Freddie Hubbard, George Freeman, Billy Branch and more.
Since graduating from McNally Smith College of Music in 2007, Cory Wong’s list of accomplishments is truly staggering. He co-founded the critically acclaimed funk and soul re-issue record label Secret Stash with fellow alum Eric Foss. He’s written arrangements for NBC’s The Voice. He’s a session and touring guitar player for über-popular Michigan-based funk band Vulfpeck, and Nashville-based singer/songwriter Ben Rector. Most recently, he’s written and recorded an ambitious solo album, Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band, featuring no less than 20 of the Twin Cities’ top musicians, including John Fields, Michael Bland, Kenni Holmen, Steve Strand, Michael Nelson, Steve Goold, Noah Levy, Sonny Thompson, Tommy Barbarella and fellow McNally Smith alums Kevin Gastonguay and Petar Janjic.