Jamming with the Festival

Published 7:01 am Saturday, August 11, 2018

How does the Austin ArtWorks Festival celebrate music?

Start with four concerts in the week leading up to the event. Then present three free live music stages hosting 20 different acts performing 39 sets on August 25-26.

Add an afternoon jam session in Dusty’s alley and the Schindler Celebration concert at the Paramount Theatre on August 25.

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Sprinkle in three coffee-house-style musicians performing between sets on the outdoor stage. Now it’s an ArtWorks celebration.

The celebration of music will start during ArtWorks Festival Week with a Community Talent Show at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center on Saturday, Aug. 19; World Music Series concert Yves Lambert Trio at the Paramount Theatre on Wednesday, Aug. 22, Amber Dolphin and the Pecatonica String Quartet at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and A Tribute to Blair Lawhead at the Hormel Historic Home on Thursday, Aug. 23, and an Alley Party with Minneapolis folk rockers Farewell Milwaukee behind Dusty’s on Friday, Aug. 24.

At the free outdoor stage off Second Ave. NE and First St. NE, Duluth artist Gaelynn Lea will headline. She first came to national acclaim when she won National Public Radio Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest.

Lea performs from her electric wheelchair and holds her instrument like a tiny cello and uses a looping pedal to perform her original songs. Lea plans to release her fourth studio album in September.

The outdoor stage will also host the Austin Symphony Orchestra lead by Stephen J. Ramsey; Funktion Junction, an ensemble of some of the best Motown, disco and blues musicians in the Twin Cities; Freedom Jazz, a Twin Cities-based, non-profit Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied (GLBTA) jazz band; Sioux Falls Americana quartet The Tinder Box; Wicked Renegades, an 90s-inspired blues rock cover band; and Austin’s super group with members long-established in the local music scene and decades of performing experience, Ventura Highway.

During breaks on the outdoor stage, three singer/songwriters will play mini-sets in the tent next to the stage: Moonrise Blue, Chloe Hope and Greenfingers.

In addition to the outdoor stage, there will be an acoustic stage in the Paramount Annex (former Park and Rec) and an acoustic stage at the ArtWorks Center. Acts include Stringendo, Annex Sound, Lawhead Duo, Reminisce, Trio Sen Nome, Cedar River Strings, Ecumenical Bells, Con Fuoco and the Sue-Em Duo.

Whalen and the Willows plus friends will jam in the alley behind Dusty’s on Aug. 25 in the afternoon. Puddles Pity Party — emphasis on the party — will celebrate the life of Dick Schindler at the Paramount Theatre at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25.

With support from Mayo Clinic Health System Austin tickets are $25 and selling fast. Consider purchasing tickets to this reserved-seating show immediately as the show is 67 percent sold at press time.

A full schedule of the music is available at www.austinareaarts.org.

Coming soon at the Paramount Theatre

$5 Movie: “Old Yeller,” Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

• Matchbox Childrens’ Theatre presents Stuart Little,

7 p.m. Aug 17 and 18, 2 p.m. Aug. 19

• Puddles Pity Party: Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.; the Schindler Celebration event at the Austin ArtWorks Festival sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin. Reserved seating tickets are $25 advance and are 57 percent sold at press time.

Coming soon at the ArtWorks Center

•Family Art Studio, Saturday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m.

•Open Clay Studio, Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m.

•Teen Drawing Class, Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m.

•Open Clay Studio, Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 5 p.m.

•Gallery opening: Sandra Haff with Adult Coloring Night, 5 p.m.