McNally Smith College of Music, the Midwest’s premier contemporary music school, is showcasing its talented students at Venue Nights throughout St. Paul in the month of April. From the classic New York jazz club feel of the Artists’ Quarter to the retro-cool of Mancini’s Char House & Lounge to the sanctified (and gorgeous) acoustics of the Central Presbyterian Church to the rock vibe of O’Gara’s Garage, McNally Smith ensembles will be bringing music to St. Paul venues of all kinds. With styles including metal, fusion, Latin and even a Hip Hop Choir number led by Dessa, the styles of music promise to be as eclectic as the environs. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:
Thursday, April 9, 8:00 PM, Artists’ Quarter, All Ages. Visiting this jazz club, down the stairs from the street level in the Historic Hamm Building, is like visiting New York City in the 1960s (except that it’s only a short walk from the McNally Smith campus). The AQ has hosted the top legends in jazz, and is known for helping establish brilliant young careers. McNally Smith’s Venue Night at the AQ features the following ensembles: Guitar II, Latin, Guitar I, Jazz I, Contemporary Vocal and X-Tet. The AQ is located in downtown St. Paul at 7th Place and St. Peter Street, downstairs from Great Waters Brewing Co. www.artistsquarter.com
Monday, April 13, 8:00 PM, Mancini’s Char House & Lounge, All Ages. Nick Mancini opened this fabled steak house in 1948, and both the founder and the institution became legends of St. Paul. The Lounge is truly old school – you can practically hear echoes of Tony Bennett crooning from the stage (which he did). It’s impossible not to love this place. McNally Smith’s Venue Night at Mancini’s features the following ensembles: Rock I, Metal, Country, Blues, Pop, R&B II. Mancini’s is located at 531 W. Seventh St. www.mancinis.com
Thursday, April 16, 7:00 PM, McNally Smith Café, All Ages. Head on up to the Café Stage for World Percussion, World Vocal, Blues II, Creative II and Creative V.
Monday, April 20, 5:00 PM, McNally Smith Café, All Ages. Join us for the Creative Composition Ensemble Spring Blow Out Show in the Café.
Monday, April 20, 8:00 PM, O’Gara’s Garage, All Ages. Since 1941, O’Gara’s Bar & Grill has been one of the classic Irish joints in St. Paul. The addition of O’Gara’s Garage in 1985, with its spacious stage and top-notch sound system, has made O’Gara’s one of the Twin Cities’ great rock venues. McNally Smith’s Venue Night at O’Gara’s features the following ensembles: R&B I, Fusion, “M”, Creative III, Rock and Creative IV. O’Gara’s Garage is located at 164 Snelling Ave. No. (at the corner of Snelling and Selby) in St. Paul. www.ogaras.com
Thursday, April 23, 8:30 PM, McNally Smith Auditorium, All Ages. This special Brass & Woodwinds Department Showcase will feature the music of McNally Smith’s composition students.
Friday, April 24, 4:00 PM, Central Presbyterian Church, All Ages. “Sing Out! McNally Smith College Choir and World Vocal Ensemble.” Raising the roof while raising spirits, highlights of this performance will include a Hip-Hop number by the Choir (led by Dessa) and additional guest appearances by Debbie Duncan, Steve Faison and Erin Schwab. The acoustics in this church are amazing, and the talent will be too.
Get out and check out the talent of McNally Smith’s students, while checking out some of the best spots for music in the Twin Cities.Newer: Bob Mould Teaches Master Class at McNally Smith College of Music
Older: McNally Smith Faculty Artist Performance Series Featured All-Star Band Led By Pete Whitman