The Sunset Series Outdoor Concerts

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From local favorites to emerging new talent, the Sunset Series is a showcase for great talent from all genres. 

Hopkins Center for the Arts is pleased to present the 2023 Sunset Series. Join us Thursday evenings at 7pm in Downtown Park, 40 Ninth Avenue S, Hopkins. Bring a chair and some friends! Rain location announced by 3 PM day of concert.

Printable Sunset Series 2023 Line Up


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June 15: Maygen and the Birdwatcher 

The past two years have been quite a stir for the Minnesota-based Maygen & The Birdwatcher. In late 2021 they successfully released their "stunning" (Americana UK) debut full-length album, Moonshine (which earned them Midwest Country Music Awards for Album of the Year and Americana Artist of the Year) and landed opportunities to join festival stages with bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, Paul Cauthen, Grace Potter, and even support a childhood favorite, Travis Tritt. They continued the momentum in late 2022, releasing Moonshine's companion EP, the “lively and charming” (Adventures in Americana) Bootleggin’ At The Flower Shoppe.

The folk duo-turned-Americana 6-piece adventurously blurs the sounds of country, bluegrass, folk, and blues - keepin' it all fresh. Lead singers Maygen Lacey, and Noah Neumann have intentionally worked to draw on their vastly different musical influences and vocal styles to bring a fresh and unexpected set of original songs to fruition. Who needs a playlist when you can get the variety you need in just this one band? If you’re into Brandi Carlile vibes in one song, Joe Cocker in the next, and a stacked lineup of musicians that can pull it all off, then Maygen & The Birdwatcher is a sure bet for you.

With the versatility to play in a number of stage configurations ranging from an intimate duo to their exuberant, boot-stomping full band, the group charms a broad range of audiences. From beauty to grit, sadness to silliness, the common thread is that this crew loves music, and playing it together. It shows.

"In many ways, Maygen & The Birdwatcher feel like a collaboration between two distinct artists versus a more seamless band-- but it's that individuality, those visible seams, that make them such a fascinating act." - Adventures In Americana  (Folk/Country)

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June 22: Winona Jazz Collective

The Winona Jazz Collective was originally started in 2002 while several of its members were teaching at Winona State University (WSU). Initially referred to as the WSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble, the group assumed its new identity after a one-year hiatus due to COVID concerns (2020-2021). Since its inception, about 20 musicians have been part of the collective. Over the past 12 years (since 2010), the group has been performing monthly at the No-Name Bar in Winona, MN. These sessions have been built around providing opportunities for young players (high school and college) to sit in with experienced players in a semi-professional, affirming environment. The group performs fresh takes of popular songs as well as modern jazz classics. This show will also feature the Center’s very own Kelly Blau on lead guitar. (Jazz)

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June 29: James Loney and Lolo's Ghost

James Loney has been writing songs for 30 years. His songs are stark, beautiful, emotional and very real. He has had his work featured in two major motion pictures (Jeremy Piven's "Just Write" and Kirsten Dunst's "Luckytown"). He has always surrounded himself with the best musicians that the twin cities has to offer whether with his previous bands House Of Mirrors, The Midnight Troubadours or his current project Lolos Ghost. He is also a Hopkins High School Hall of Fame inductee. (Americana)

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July 6: Salsa Del Soul

Salsa del Soul is a Twin Cities-based, nine-piece orchestra performing various styles of dance music from the Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean. Salsa del Soul was formed with the purpose to provide great dance music for Twin Cities Salsa fans. The musicians of Salsa del Soul represent some of the finest talents in the Twin Cities Latin music scene. The styles of music they perform include Son, Son Montuno, Plena, Cha-cha-cha, Bachata, Timba, and, of course, Salsa! Salsa del Soul performs locally at restaurants and bars, jazz and Latin festivals, private engagements, and other locations and events.

Salsa del Soul has been making superb dance music around the Twin Cities and the Midwest region for more than a decade, providing top-notch talent delivered in the most professional fashion consistently and expeditiously — the fruits of which can be recognized in Salsa del Soul's long list of clients and long-standing performance venues.

Salsa del Soul features the best talent ready to cater to your specific live entertainment need, whether that be the full nine-piece orchestra, the smaller Latin jazz quintet or quartet, or even the Latin jazz duo. We are designed to fit any atmosphere or context in which great live music is requested, enhancing every event while catering to your specific entertainment budget. Leave the music to us! (Latin/ Dance)

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July 13: Honeybutter

These three pieces of toast—Zak Khan on guitar/production, Clara Wicklund on vocals/bass, and Andreas Fenner on vocals/keys—are multigrain babes: Acoustically-rooted, leavened by jazz and baked to a perfect Honeybutter golden brown.

With the velvety romance of old cinema, they mix Brazilian guitar, honeyed vocals and homemade percussion to make music that’s earth-bound and timeless. Their songs are dreamy and familiar: set in Minnesota’s harsh landscape, where the trio’s songwriting takes place, they’re warmth and sugar on a cold winter day. Eat them for breakfast. (Pop/ Indie)

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July 20: Carolyne Naomi

Based in the Twin Cities for the past 8 years, Carolyne Naomi has been performing her unique blend of afrobeats music, with influences from soul and R&B, reggae, and gospel. Carolyne’s take on this modern afro-fusion reflects today's multicultural world and the everyday challenges as well as the potential that it holds.

After completing a Masters Degree in Media and Communication in Nigeria, Carolyne chose to relocate to Minnesota to pursue additional education in guitar and voice performance at McNally Smith College of Music. Despite the untimely closure of that institution, Carolyne has continued to compose and perform music that reflects her experience as a first-generation immigrant.

With a story to tell that resonates with the current generation, she weaves her life experience into her songs as she reflects her surroundings with both her struggles and success. (Afropop)

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July 27: Westwind Concert Band

The Hopkins Westwind Concert Band (HWCB), under the direction of Conductor Mike Anderson and Conductor Emeritus Don Bates, is a community band based in Hopkins, Minnesota. Since 1983 the HWCB has been making music in the Twin Cities metro area. During those years, the band has performed for thousands of people in various outdoor venues. (Concert Band)

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August 3: Cole Diamond

Mixing up an unlikely concoction of vintage rock & roll and outlaw country, Cole Diamond is, depending on when you ask, either the stage name for singer/songwriter Ryan Otte or the collective handle for Otte and his Band. For years Otte spent most weekends behind a drum kit playing with too many band to list. The idea for Cole Diamond came about as a way for Otte to step out from behind the drums and try his hand at the front of the stage. In the years since “Cole Diamond” was conceived he has released an EP, a string of singles, received airplay on 89.3 The Current, and opened for national acts such as Corb Lund. Drawing on influences that range from Waylon and Willie to Brooks & Dunn, Cole Diamond delivers a modern take on a classic sound. (Country)

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August 10: Power of 10

Power of 10 features dynamic vocalists, an awe-inspiring horn section and a superb rhythm section performing a mix of timeless and current hits. This 10 piece band brings the freshness of Bruno Mars, the passion of Stevie Wonder and the electricity of Earth, Wind and Fire. (R&B)

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August 17: Elska

From an early age, ELSKA (Elsa Lee) welcomed her mother’s insistence that she and her siblings each learn an instrument. That they should study music just as they would any other subject was just “life.” But this Minnesota-based singer/songwriter has relied as much on her other passions as she has her arresting musical talents in her debut album “On the Shoulders of Giants.”.

 Elsa and songwriting partner Owen Sartori started writing in 2019, exploring Elsa’s deepest passions, concerns and fears. It became clear that music with purpose was going to be the name of the game, which birthed songs like “Last Tree on Earth,” an environmental anthem, “Endless Winter,” an introspection on depression and its crushing weight, and “Hummingbird,” a tale of wanting (and deserving) what you can’t have. Most recently, she has released the single “Bounty Hunter”, a direct criticism of the Texas Heartbeat Act. It was during this process that she decided to adopt a stage name that reflected the seriousness, strength and heart of the music itself. She chose ELSKA, which is a Norse word roughly translated as “love.” (Indie)

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A few videos from the 2020 Sunset Series-