Author Archives: Paul Niemisto

Music around town during VBF 2022

Tom Baker’s Mardi Gras Brass

OK, so there’s the fantastic lineups in Bridge Square for four days (Thu-Sun) and Central Park for two days (Sat/Sun) and  the 4 offsite location concerts on Thursday (Farmington, Cannon Falls, Montgomery, and Nerstrand), but is that all there is Vintage Band Festival?

Well, no. Windworks Quintet with play at Fifty North at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 29, and at the Northfield Public Library at 2:00 p.m. the same day.

Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band will play at the VFW Post 4393 Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29. Tom Baker’s Mardi Gras Brass will play at the Contented Cow Pub at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29.

Ameriikan Poijat will play at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 at Tanzenwald Brewing Co.

Oh, and did we mention that on Sunday, July 31, you can hear Vintage Band Festival bands in 8 Northfield churches?

OK, we’ll stop now. Good luck on getting to each and every one of these shows.

You’re welcome!

To view the complete Vintage Band Festival 2022 Program, click here.

Vintage Band Festival opens with Brass Lassie and Selby Avenue Brass Band

Thursday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. the first notes of Vintage Band Festival 2022 will sound. Brass Lassie, a Celtic band from the Twin Cities with a brass horn component will play the opening set. Brass Lassie is a bold Minnesota-based ensemble combining Celtic music with a big band attitude, performing extraordinary takes on Scottish, Irish and Breton music. Brass Lassie features a four-piece horn section, a great rhythm section, fine fiddle, flutes, concertina and vocals in smart, joyous brass-driven arrangements. The band’s founder and leader is Northfield native Laura McKenzie and Vintage Band Festival is excited for their return to the VBF stage.

The Selby Avenue Brass Band featuring Thomasina Petrus is a relatively new voice in the Minneapolis/St.Paul music scene. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger and composer and music educator in the Twin Cities area. Tom’s compositions and arrangements fuel a band comprised of enthusiastic and experienced musicians (including a couple of Grammy winners). While their musical roots come from the streets of New Orleans, they expand from that genre into many others. Thomasina Petrus is a Minneapolis actor and jazz vocalist, known for her signature role as jazz icon Billie Holiday. In 2019 the band did a club gig at the festival, but this is the group’s first appearance at the Bridge Square Legacy Stage. The music starts at 8:00 p.m.

VBF music in neighboring communities

In 2022, the Vintage Band Festival music won’t be heard only in Northfield. We’ll have our bands playing in four different counties! We think of these events as musical evangelism. If you love the concert tonight, come to Northfield tomorrow for three more days of this premier brass band sound.

On Thursday, July 28, four veteran VBF ensembles will give concerts in Montgomery (Le Sueur County), Nerstrand (Rice County), Cannon Falls (Goodhue County) and Farmington (Dakota County).

Independent Silver Band from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, will play at 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Park in Montgomery in the city’s “Concert in the Park” summertime series.

Dodworth Saxhorn Band

Dodworth Saxhorn Band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, will play at 7:30 p.m. at the City Park in Nerstrand.

Also at 7:30, Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band will perform at St.Ansgar’s Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls. Finally, Kentucky Baroque Trumpets will play at Farmington Lutheran Church in Farmington. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band

If you are in these areas or your schedule won’t allow you to be in Northfield on the festival weekend, visit one of these locations for a rewarding Vintage Band Festival experience.

Stage Sponsors for VBF 2022 are the best!

The number of Stage Sponsors ($1,000+) for Vintage Band Festival 2022 is record-setting. We’ve never had such a fantastic response to our action call! We need to thank the following from the bottom of our hearts:

Carl and Joan Behr

By All Means Graphics (in-kind)

Capital Construction

Carleton College

City of Montgomery MN

City of Northfield (in-kind)

Northfield Rotary Club

Mary Rosenberg

Nan and Dave Shumway

Jan Stevens

Lois and Noel Stratmoen

Three LInks Care Center

Looking for Vintage Band Festival 2022 Volunteers

St. Olaf student Sarah Stevens staffing the VBF 2014 Info Tent

 

There are many ways to volunteer for Vintage Band Festival 2022. We need folks to help with setup in Bridge Square on July 27 and 28. We also need folks to help with take down on July 31 and August 1.

From Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31 we need folks to staff the VBF Information Tent to take donations, sell merchandise and tell visitors about the festival. We also need people to manage chairs, music stands, and percussion equipment on the stages at Bridge Square and Central Park.

If you have a couple hours or a couple days, please visit our SignUp Genius website and choose your shifts. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e48afa92ea6ff2-vintage2

THANK YOU!

Evening entertainment for VBF 2022

Vintage Band Festival 2022 will boast three successive evenings of high-energy entertainment this coming summer.

On Thursday, July 28, the festival kicks off with the return of Brass Lassie, a Twin Cities Celtic fusion band with traditional flutes and pipes backed by a fine group of horns. At 8:30 Selby Avenue Brass Band takes the stage featuring Thomasina Petrus. Expect a wonderful melding of New Orleans Jazz with the blues. Thomasina Petrus is a veteran stage performer and recently starred in a production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” about the life and legacy of Billie Holiday.

Banda La Verdadera

 

Friday evening begins with Banda La Verdadera at 5:00 followed by Mariachi Mi Tierra at 6:30. Both bands have become crowd pleasers at past Vintage Band Festivals. The final ensemble of the evening is Malamanya at 8:00. Malamanya plays traditional rhythms and melodies from the Caribbean and Latin America. They are legendary in the metro Twin Cities for those who love to salsa and samba. Malamanya is making it Vintage Band Festival debut.

Malamanya

Jack Brass Band

Saturday the music in Bridge Square starts at 9:00 AM, but things really start jumping at 6:00 when Jack Brass Band takes the stage. They play New Orleans jazz with a happy up-tempo style. They call it “feel good music.” Perennial favorites Copper Street Brass are up next at 7:15 and the evening closes with the return of Buddy Koopmans Orchestra. Big band sound with swinging rhythms and great vocals will fill the air.

Buddy Koopmans Orchestra

Northfield Shares recognizes Vintage Band Festival volunteers

April was National Volunteer Month. Throughout the month the Northfield News and Northfield Shares, an advocate of volunteer activism, highlighted several local organizations and individuals in a series of social media posts and newspaper stories. One of the organizations they chose to feature was Vintage Band Festival. During the 16 years that VBF has been in operation, all of the work done to present live band music in dozens of Northfield locations has been performed by volunteers. From the 12-member working Board of Directors to the homestay host families to the majority of the musicians, the volunteer ethic is alive and well. Thanks to all of our volunteers! Read about all of the volunteers honored on the Northfield Shares website.

If you’d like to volunteer to help with VBF 2022, check the VBF website later this month to learn what tasks need doing and when.

Dan Bergeson, Randy Ferguson, Jan Stevens at a recent VBF Board meeting

VBF 2020 is cancelled

 

The Vintage Band Festival Board of Directors regrets to announce that it has cancelled the planned one-day mini-festival scheduled for August 1, 2020. Although the 5/13/20 guidance from the State of Minnesota eased some restrictions for Minnesota businesses and social interactions, the guidelines regarding physical interactions are limited to no more than 10 people at any single gathering and there is still a ban on outdoor sporting events and concerts. Many Minnesota summer festivals and events have already been cancelled and no doubt the list of cancellations will continue to grow.

We owe it to the health and well-being of our musicians, our audience and our volunteers to stand down from our plans for the summer of 2020 and instead begin plans for getting together again on July 31, 2021 to celebrate wind and brass band music in an outdoor setting. Thanks to all of our fans, donors and musicians for their unending support over the past 15 years. Watch for news and updates on the Vintage Band Festival Facebook page and at www.vintagebandfestival.org.

#StaySafeMN

Vintage Band Festival Annual Meeting Feb. 10

The Vintage Band Festival Board of Directors will hold the organization’s annual meeting on Monday, February 10 at noon at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield, MN. The main order of business will be the election of officers for 2020. The following persons have volunteered to serve as officers and will be nominated at the meeting:

President–Dan Bergeson
Vice-President–Randy Ferguson
Secretary–Joy Riggs
Treasurer–Mary Rosenberg

The meeting is free and open to the public. All are welcome.