Entertainment Briefs - July 13

Daybreak to take Gregory Park Bandstand stage Daybreak--a musical group performing music from Judy Garland to Patsy Cline to Lady Gaga to Sinatra--will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13, in the Gregory Park bandstand. The band features hits fro...

Jeff Menten and Paul Nye will perform 7 p.m. Sunday in the Northern Pacific Park at the Music in the Park Series in Staples. Submitted
Jeff Menten and Paul Nye will perform 7 p.m. Sunday in the Northern Pacific Park at the Music in the Park Series in Staples. Submitted

Daybreak to take Gregory Park Bandstand stage

Daybreak-a musical group performing music from Judy Garland to Patsy Cline to Lady Gaga to Sinatra-will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13, in the Gregory Park bandstand.

The band features hits from the '40s through today's top classics.

Daybreak was founded in 1978 and they have played together for several years, performing at many of central Minnesota's top night spots. In 2013, four of the original members were again living in the Brainerd area.They renewed their friendship and their common interest in music and began performing their special brand of music for their old fans and a legion of new ones. Daybreak is anchored by Rock and Country Hall of Fame guitarist/steel guitarist Dick Wilt. Leisha Kaye is the voice of Daybreak. She began performing with Daybreak as a teenager and has developed into one of Minnesota's top song stylists. The rhythm section features music veteran Jim Hanson on bass/keyboard/vocals and Pat Scrimshaw, one of Minnesota's most versatile musicians, is featured on harmonica, saxophone and vocals; and Joe Yager on drums.

Bandstand concerts are free and open to the public. People can bring a lawn chair, a blanket and be ready to enjoy the music. Rain out site is at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.


Concerts in the park are collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Additional supporting sponsors are the Brainerd Community Foundation, Brainerd Lions, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and the BN Credit Union.

Author/singer-songwriter to appear at Book World

BAXTER-Author and singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Book World in Baxter to read and sign her award-winning memoir about moving from New York City to rural Minnesota.

Her book titled "Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story" is a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was released in June by North Star Press. The memoir gives the inside view of an outsider's perspective on rural Minnesota as it tells the story of a singer-songwriter who finds somewhere and someone, in the middle of nowhere.

Korenne left New York City in 2006 to be an artist-in-residence in New York Mills, where she fell in love with the local outdoorsman. The book is how Korenne survived the cultural shock

Gull Lake TEDx chose Korenne to be a featured speaker at their April 2017 Conference and Prairie Public Television in Fargo, N.D., commissioned her to create songs and appear in a series of 10 mini-music documentaries of unusual people and events in the upper Midwest.

Korenne began her music career in 2001 after leaving her role at the international development nonprofit she cofounded, Geekcorps.

Reception for exhibit planned


The Brainerd Area Art Club is hosting another reception for its current exhibit, "Open the Door to Art" from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 22 at the Porthole Gallery located inside the Minnesota School of Diving building in Brainerd.

Original works, as well as cards and prints will be available for sale and participating artists will be on hand. The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday through July 27.

For information on the exhibit, contact club president Joyce Popkin at 218-855-0812.

Menten and Nye to perform in Staples

STAPLES-Menten and Nye will perform 7 p.m. Sunday in the Northern Pacific Park at the Music in the Park Series in Staples.

The concert will feature violinist Jeff Menten and guitarist Paul Nye. As seasoned veteran musicians, Menten and Nye have individually logged tens of thousands of miles and performed nearly as many shows in their respective musical careers. Audiences will enjoy their eclectic style that cleverly weaves modern and old time classics and Celtic tunes with ragtime and blues, plus some of Nye's originals, it stated in a news release.

Menten graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota, Mankato, with a music degree in violin performance. He has performed with several symphony orchestras and played professionally with Mariachi Estrella in Austin, Texas. In 1995, he was awarded "Instrumentalist of the Year," "Best Classic Country Performance" and "Best Band" as The Radio Flyers and the "Archie Hill Horizon Award" at the Minnesota Country Music Association competition. Menten operates the Pine-to-Prairie School of Music and has been teaching string instruments to students of all ages for 30 years. A number of his students are from the Staples-Motley area.

Nye began playing guitar as a teenager. His professional career has taken him from coast-to-coast with numerous touring groups. He has shared the stage with renowned Minnesota guitarists Leo Kottke and Michael Johnson and has opened for a number of national rock bands in his career. For the last 13 years, Nye has focused his craft on writing, recording and performing children's music; and releasing three independent recordings of music for youth.


Both Nye and Menten perform weekly with the Woodtick Theater Band in Akeley.

Music in the Park concerts run Sunday nights through August 13. In case of rain, the concerts will be moved to Faith Lutheran Church. Visit for more information on the music series.

The Music in the Park series is funded by the Staples Host Lions Club. The series is organized by the Staples Motley Area Arts Council, with the assistance of the Staples-Motley Public Schools and the City of Staples.

Songs of Hope to perform Friday

The award-winning Songs of Hope performance company returns to Brainerd for a 7 p.m. Friday concert at the First Congregational Church in Brainerd.

This global 2017 Songs of Hope concert tour, which showcases the talents of young artists ranging in age from 10 to 20 drawn to Minnesota from countries all across the globe, including Vietnam, China, Poland, Italy, France, Turkey, Israel, Jamaica, Guatemala, Argentina, Colombia and the United States.

The annual Songs of Hope project has a reputation for lively, upbeat shows enjoyed by audiences of all ages, and the 2017 version of the show is going to be even bigger and better than ever, it states in a news release. With close to 90 performers on stage from a dozen countries, the concert will serve up a mix of global music from places large and small and a variety of U.S. songs.

"Songs of Hope dazzles audiences with an array of rich cultural costumes from countries across the globe, lively movements and dance by the performers, music by a band, imaginative sets, and more," the release stated.


With an Arts Tour Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, it was named the Five Times A National Arts and Humanities Youth Award Program finalist.

Songs of Hope leaders are Jeanne Junge and Tom Surprenant.

"The fact is, audiences see our show once and they want to come back for more," Junge stated. "That's always our minimum standard for excellence, but we're planning to do even better this summer, with maybe a few, special surprises."

Freedom is this year's concert theme with songs ranging from 1960s civil rights songs to an Irish freedom song.

"Everyone everywhere has some concept of freedom, whether it's the U.S. version of individual liberty or just the freedom to live, period," Surprenant stated.

Cheryl Kramer, also part of the group, is a keyboard player who brings experience playing African, Latin and Caribbean music with many diverse Twin Cities ensembles. She has played in various bands, including the chick funk band, Kat Klub, the Calypso band, Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs, blues band, Blind Date, Soca band, Shangoya, African music band, Marimba Africa and Brazilian band. She has been keyboard player for Songs of Hope since 1991

Nadège Kokoe is the project's vocal director. A native of Togo, a small country on the west coast of Africa, and a recent graduate of McNally Smith College of Music with a degree in music performance. Kokoe currently teaches music at a private school in south Minneapolis. As a vocalist, she has been involved with various groups and local choirs, including Marimba Africa,

Guayaba Tropical, World Vocal and Latin ensembles of the McNally Smith College of Music, the


International African Choir of Saint Olaf Church, and the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Kokoe joined Songs of Hope in 2015.

David Burk, a multi-instrumentalist in the Twin Cities, has performed with numerous past and present musical associations including The Rose Ensemble, the Georges Lammam Arabic Orchestra, Voices of Sepharad, famed Persian singer Sattar, traditional Persian group Robayat, Ethnic Dance Theatre, Fuego Flamenco and Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble.

Angel Diaz is a Venezuelan-born percussionist who specializes in timbales while playing many other drums. His credits as a drummer include Heart of the City, Nachito Herrera, World Voices Choir and Grace Church Big Band. His percussionist work also includes Tropical Sun, Salsabrosa, Salsa Del Sol, Mixed Blood Theatre and Minnesota History Theatre.

Water Ski Show set Sunday

The Brainerd Ski Loons will perform a free water ski show at 5 p.m. Sunday at Lum Park in Brainerd.

Participants, who can bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating, can come and watch human ski pyramids, ski jumpers, barefooters and skiers being pulled 360 degrees around a boat.

There will be three additional shows later in the summer. Upcoming show dates are 5 p.m. July 30; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16; and 5 p.m. Aug. 20. All shows are performed at Lum Park in Brainerd.

The Ski Loons are a nonprofit organization in Brainerd.


Visit for more information on the Brainerd Ski Loons.

'Bubble Wrap Girl' book signing planned

NISSWA-Minnesota author Kari Casper van Wakeren, who has recently written and published her first children's book titled "Bubble Wrap Girl," will appear for a book signing from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 22 at Turtle Town Books and Gifts in Nisswa.

"Bubble Wrap Girl" is about a girl named Izzy Magee, who gets hurt doing lots of things she enjoys. Like most kids, she doesn't like getting hurt, so one day, her parents wrap her up in bubble wrap. While wrapped in bubble wrap, Izzy doesn't get hurt as often, but she realizes she can't do the things she likes to do either. Eventually, she decides that having fun and trying new things is better than not getting hurt.

The story was inspired by a conversation van Wakeren had with her young daughter. She wrote the book to encourage her own children and others to try new things and be brave, and to show them that they can do hard things, it stated in a news release. It is a story that celebrates resilience and the inner-greatness that is inherent in each of us.

The book illustrator is CA Nobens of St. Louis Park and was self-published through Beaver's Pond Press in Edina.

van Wakeren is a Minnesota native and graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Luther Seminary. While in seminary, she interned at Trinity Lutheran in Brainerd.

Community Canvas reception set in Aitkin

AITKIN-The Jaques Art Center in Aitkin will host an artists' reception for the Community Art Exhibit from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.

More than 350 community members of all ages created art on an 8-inch square canvas for the exhibit, which will be on display through Sept. 2.

Trivia Mafia at Roundhouse

Roundhouse Brewery in Brainerd will host Trivia Mafia every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Trivia Mafia is the largest bar trivia provider in the midwest with more than 90 weekly events. The event formed when Chuck Terhark and Sean McPherson started running a Sunday trivia night at in 2006 in northeast Minneapolis and the event grew from there.

'Read-O-Rama!' coming July 22

NISSWA-The United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties will celebrate and increase awareness of its local Imagination Library program with a "It's a Llama Llama Read-O- Rama!" reading event.

The celebration will be 10:30 a.m. to noon July 22 in the gazebo in downtown Nisswa. In the event of inclement weather, the venue will be moved from 11 a.m. to noon at the Nisswa Elementary School.

The" Llama Llama Read-O-Rama" will include book readings by local celebrities, a visit from a live llama-weather permitting-family and children's yoga and other activities.

The presenting sponsor for the event is BlackRidge BANK.

For more information, visit the or call the local United Way at 218-829-2619.

Artisans being sought for fair

CROSSLAKE-Organizers of the 25th annual Crosslake Artisans' Fair are looking for more artisans for the event planned Aug. 13.

For the past 24 years artisans who practice a century old skill will gather at the Historic Log Village to demonstrate, exhibit and sell their crafts. This is a one-day event and runs from

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission to the event is $5 for adults and $2 for children.

Individuals interested in practicing their crafts should contact Nancy Rudberg at 218-692- 2309.

Merrifield park fest planned

MERRIFIELD-The Merrifield Lions Park-Fest will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 at the Merrifield Lions Park.

A Car and Bike Show sponsored by the Iron Order Motorcycle Club will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the baseball field of the park. Registration is $10.

The event is a fundraiser to benefit the maintenance and improvements at the Merrifield Lions Park.

Documentary on Street Rods to be filmed

Brainerd resident Kevin Edwards will film a documentary on the sport of local Street Rodding this year. The project was made possible by the Five Wings Art Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation.

Any weekend in Minnesota during the summer there are a variety of car shows being hosted for different makes of collector automobiles, including Street Rods, Edwards stated in a news release. Street Rods shows are often hosted by local car clubs such as the car club in Brainerd called "Northern Tin." Many Street Rod clubs also participate in the larger state-wide Street Rodding club called Minnesota Street Rod Association which is one of the largest clubs in the United States boosting over 25,000 members."

"I have been passionate about Street Rodding because my dad took me as a child on many mini adventures to find cool cars lost in backyards and barns in the Fairmont area," Edwards stated. "Many of my close friends entire families were into Street Rodding and other collector cars. Although I don't own an official Street Rod, I do drive my dad's 1959 MGA to many Street Rod runs in the Brainerd lakes area. Street Rodding with friends is just plain fun."

Street Rodding car shows are family events with many activities beyond just showing cars to the public, which include picnics, games and food.

"Often lifelong friendships are formed among car enthusiast thru car clubs," Edwards stated. "You don't have to own a Street Rod to appreciate the unique craftsmanship that goes into remaking old cars into a work of art."

Edwards will seek historical related items from the 50s to the present related to local Street Rodding such as old photographs, films, posters, trophies and news articles. He plans to interview local Street Rodders who have a lifelong committed to this pastime to explore their passion.

Once completed, the documentary will be posted on the web sometime in 2018.

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads