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Dessa to Join Minnesota Orchestra for March 2019 Performances to Create a Live-in-Concert Recording

Sarah Hicks conducts concerts on March 26 and 28 at Orchestra Hall;

Andy Thompson and Lazerbeak to produce live-in-concert album;

Tickets available at noon on Monday, Dec. 17 at

Rapper-singer-writer Dessa returns to Orchestra Hall this March for two performances to create a live-in-concert recording with the Minnesota Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks. Dessa will perform fan favorites and debut brand-new material. The forthcoming album, slated for release later in 2019, will be produced by Lazerbeak and Andy Thompson for Doomtree Records.

The concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 26, and Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. More information is available at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

“Following Dessa’s previous performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, social media has blown up with the question ‘when can you make a recording?’—and now we can answer ‘later this year,’” said Grant Meachum, the Orchestra’s director of Live at Orchestra Hall. “The Dessa/Minnesota Orchestra partnership has created a lot of great moments onstage, and we’re excited to capture the magic of this collaboration in the Minnesota Orchestra’s first Doomtree release.”

The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra has recorded more than 450 works in a recording history that dates back more than ninety years, but this live-in-concert album will mark the ensemble’s first recorded collaboration with a rapper.

Dessa says, “Collaborating with the Minnesota Orchestra has made for some of the most memorable performances of my life. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, excited to take the stage with Sarah and the Orchestra again, and am still sort of stunned we get to cut a record together.”

The March concert collaboration will mark Dessa’s fourth with the Minnesota Orchestra, following sold-out concerts in April 2017 and October 2018, as well as the 2017 Symphony Ball. For these performances, Dessa will again be joined by her trusted cast of collaborators, including vocal arranger/singer Aby Wolf and vocalists Ashley DuBose, Cameron Kinghorn and Matthew Santos, as well as percussionist Joey Van Phillips and arranger Andy Thompson. 

Dessa is a rapper, singer, essayist and member of the Minneapolis Doomtree collective. She toured the U.S., Europe and China following the 2018 release of her third full-length album Chime, which debuted on the Billboard 200 charts; she also contributed to the No. 1 album The Hamilton Mixtape. As a writer, she has been featured in The New York Times, MPR, the Star TribuneMinnesota Monthly and literary journals across the country. Her first hardcover literary collection, My Own Devices (Dutton Books), was released in September. As a correspondent for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, she traveled with the Minnesota Orchestra on its August 2018 South Africa tour. Dessa splits her time between Minneapolis and New York. More:

Sarah Hicks, conductor
Sarah Hicks, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, has led a broad range of programs since joining the Orchestra as assistant conductor in 2006. During the 2018-19 season she will lead the Orchestra in performances with the Indigo Girls, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Igudesman & Joo, as well as the Inside the Classics series and upcoming film music concerts of Star Wars, Star Trek Into Darkness, and, later this week, Disney’s classic 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast. More:

Minnesota Orchestra recording history
The Minnesota Orchestra issued its first recording in 1924, among the first orchestras to take to the then-new medium. Since 2004, the Orchestra has enjoyed a golden age of activity with Music Director Osmo Vänskä, recording complete cycles of symphonies by Sibelius, Beethoven and, now in progress, Mahler. Vänskä and the ensemble won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for a recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies. Last week, BIS Records issued the newest recording in the Orchestra’s Mahler cycle, featuring the Second (Resurrection) Symphony.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor
Dessa, rapper-singer-essayist
Andy Thompson, arranger
Aby Wolf, vocal director
Ashley DuBose, vocals
Cameron Kinghorn, vocals
Matthew Santos, vocals
Joey Van Phillips, percussion

Tickets: $31 to $125


Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2018-19 season.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Press Contacts

Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Carl Schroeder

Publications Editor
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Emma Plehal

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Isaac Risseeuw

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Communications Office

Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Phone: 612.371.5600
Fax: 612.371.7170

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