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Minnesota Orchestra Announces Free Day of Music Celebration

12-hour music marathon held at Orchestra Hall from noon to midnight on Saturday, July 13

The Minnesota Orchestra today announced the line-up for its 2019 International Day of Music celebration on Saturday, July 13, from noon to midnight. Part of the Orchestra’s Música Juntos (Music Together) Sommerfest 2019, the International Day of Music showcases free performances by 15 different ensembles on four stages in and around Orchestra Hall—with The Cedar Cultural Center collaborating as a programming partner—plus a Freestyle dance battle, screenings of two films about the Orchestra’s South Africa tour, and two performances by the Minnesota Orchestra (one free, one paid). Connecting with Sommerfest’s Latin American theme, vendors will set up a marketplace around Orchestra Hall selling food, beverages and handicrafts, and providing activities for all ages.

“Day of Music is a celebration of the abundant musical talent in the Twin Cities,” says Director of Live at Orchestra Hall Grant Meachum. “We invite everyone to join us at Orchestra Hall for a day of making music together.”

All International Day of Music events are free and open to the public—no ticket required—with the exception of the 8 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra concert at Orchestra Hall (see details below), for which a paid ticket is required. A free performance by the Minnesota Orchestra will kick-off the event at 12 noon in the auditorium (see below). Performances take place on four stages simultaneously: on the city of Minneapolis’ revitalized Peavey Plaza, at the 11th Street Stage, in Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium and in the main auditorium of Orchestra Hall.


Outside on the reinvigorated Peavey Plaza, the day begins with the preliminary round of a Freestyle Dance Battle, followed by the battle’s final round which will include musical accompaniment by Minnesota Orchestra musicians. Other groups performing on this stage throughout the day include the high-energy dance music ensemble Salsa del Soul, Afro-Caribbean band Malamanya, and Papa Shalita and the Global Music Alliance.

At the 11th Street Stage—hosted by programming partner The Cedar Cultural Center—performances start at 1 p.m. with Ethiopan bass player Yonathan’s Cultural Show, followed by Indie-rock artist Lady Xok; Thunder Band; Mestifonía, specializing in music from the Iberian Peninsula and South America; and singer-songwriter and rapper Maria Isa.

In Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium, performers include the jazz-inspired Axis Mundi Global Ensemble; flamenco guitarist Michael Hauser; VocalEssence Singers Of This Age performing highlights from their 2019 ¡Cantaré! program; and Heart and Soul Drum Academy. Throughout the day there will be open screenings of two films relating to the Orchestra’s 2018 South Africa tour, created by Twin Cities PBS (TPT) and the Star Tribune.

 Inside Orchestra Hall’s main auditorium, the ePiano Junior Competition holds its finale concert featuring five finalists performing exciting piano repertoire with the Minnesota Orchestra. Then, performances from ensembles Duniya Drum and Dance and Los Alegres Bailadores fill the afternoon spots onstage. The Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä perform a special concert at 8 p.m. (complete details below), and nine-piece salsa ensemble Charanga Tropical closes out the Day of Music with a late-night concert.


Osmo Vänskä Leads a Vocal Extravaganza, 8 p.m.
The Minnesota Orchestra, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, performs a full-Orchestra concert in Orchestra Hall’s main auditorium at 8 p.m. on July 13. Connecting musical inspirations from across the globe, this concert features drumming from the Heart and Soul Drum Academy, freestyle dancer Cecil Neal, music from the Minnesota Orchestra’s North Minneapolis Common Chords January 2019 residency week, and solos from noted South African soprano Goitsemang Lehobye, who joined the Orchestra on its South Africa tour last summer. The Orchestra is also joined by the Minnesota Chorale and the Minnesota State Baptist Convention Choir. This is a paid ticketed event, but free Day of Music activities continue in the lobby and outside Orchestra Hall during the concert. Tickets are available at and by phone at (612) 371-5656. 

About The Cedar Cultural Center
The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic non-profit music venue located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis with a mission to promote intercultural understanding and appreciation through the presentation of global music and dance. Over its 30-year history, The Cedar has established itself as a premiere U.S. venue, presenting more than 200 shows a year that highlight international artists, local emerging talent and nationally renowned voices. More:


Free ride passes for Metro Transit are available to download, and directions to Orchestra Hall and specific parking ramp addresses are available at


A complete International Day of Music schedule is included below.

Complete Schedule
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 12 noon to 12 midnight

Events are held simultaneously at Peavey Plaza, on the 11th Street Stage,
 in Orchestra Hall’s main auditorium and in Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium

*All events are free with the exception of the 8 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra concert, which requires a paid ticket.

*Schedule is subject to change.


Peavey Plaza

12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.         Dance Battle Preliminary Round in partnership with Asian Media Access
Freestyle dancers from the Twin Cities compete for a chance to move on to a final round of competition.

2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.            Dance Battle Final Round with members of the Minnesota Orchestra
Minnesota Orchestra musicians perform music live during the final round of a Freestyle dance battle.

3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.            Salsa del Soul
Salsa del Soul is a Twin Cities-based, nine-piece orchestra that performs various styles of dance music from the Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean. 

4:45 p.m. to 5:30 pm.
Malamanya is a band comprised of musicians who share a mutual respect and enthusiasm for traditional rhythms and melodies from Cuba and Latin America.

6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.             Papa Shalita and the Global Music Alliance 
A leader in African music throughout Minnesota, Yusuf Joe Shalita—affectionately called “Papa Shalita”—leads a complement of musicians with roots in America and Africa, known as “The Global Music Alliance.”


11th Street Stage – Hosted by The Cedar Cultural Center

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.             Yonathan’s Cultural Show
Ethiopian jazz-funk bass guitar player Yonathan Bekure performs music inspired by American and African artists.

2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.            Lady Xok
Indie-rock and folk fusion ensemble fronted by Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, inspired by Latin American Nueva Cancion and American Blues.                  

4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.            Thunder Band
Thunder Band is a band of Somali musicians—vocalist Anab, oud player Najax and percussionist Harbi—which performs both original and traditional Somali qaarami songs. 

5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.            Mestifonía
A Minnesota-based group performs music from the Iberian Peninsula and South America. 

7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.                 Maria Isa
Maria Isa is a singer, songwriter, actress, rapper, activist and international recording artist who channels Latin American culture into her performing arts and activism.


Orchestra Hall Auditorium

12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.         e-Piano Concert with the Minnesota Orchestra
In the final concert of the e-Piano Junior Competition, five talented young pianists from around the world performing concerto movements with the Minnesota Orchestra. This concert is free and open to the public.

3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.  
           Duniya Drum and Dance
Duniya Drum and Dance offers a selection of classes in West African                                     rhythm and dance in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis.

4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.             Los Alegres Bailadores
Los Alegres Bailadores is a Mexican folkloric dance group that has performed throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota area for more than 30 years. 

8 p.m.                                      Minnesota Orchestra
*This is a paid ticketed event, featuring the full Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, including performances by the Minnesota Chorale, community choirs, soprano Goitsemang Lehobye, and guest dancers and drummers from throughout the Twin Cities.

10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.        Charanga Tropical
Charanga Tropical is a nine-piece salsa ensemble that performs classic and modern salsa music using the unique Cuban “charanga” instrumentation.


Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall

12 noon                                   TPT Screening
Enjoy  a screening of TPT’s Minnesota Original production of Music for Mandela: The Minnesota Orchestra in South Africa, a one-hour film about the Orchestra’s 2018 five-city tour of South Africa. 

1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
            Axis Mundi Global Ensemble
Axis Mundi plays world-beat grooves combined with elements of modern and traditional jazz.

3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.            Michael Hauser, flamenco guitar
The Midwest’s “father of flamenco,” Michael Hauser is one of few flamenco guitar masters performing in the United States today.

4:00 p.m.                                 TPT Screening
Enjoy  a screening of TPT’s Minnesota Original production of Music for Mandela: The Minnesota Orchestra in South Africa, a one-hour film about the Orchestra’s 2018 five-city tour of South Africa.

6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.             VocalEssence Singers of This Age (VESOTA)
Singers from the VocalEssence Youth Choir perform highlights from their 2019 ¡Cantaré! program, exploring Mexican cultural and choral music traditions.

7:00 pm                                   Star Tribune Short Film Screening
Join the Star Tribune for a screening of a newly-produced short film (and other works!) about the Orchestra’s 2018 South Africa tour, including a discussion with its creators.  

9:30 p.m.                                 Heart and Soul Drum Academy
Heart and Soul Drum Academy is a youth educational nonprofit program based in the Rondo neighborhood of St Paul, MN. Learning the art of African drum and dance provides these energetic youth with fulfilling opportunities for leadership and personal development while promoting positive outcomes for team dynamics.


OH+ (Orchestra Hall Plus)

All day: Free extras curated with community partners and inspired by Música Juntos (Music Together) take place in the lobby of Orchestra Hall.

Ticket Purchasing Information

The International Day of Music events are free and open to the public.
Tickets to the July 13 Minnesota Orchestra concert and additional Sommerfest concerts are now available online at and by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141.

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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Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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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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