‘Cornbread’ Harris among Sally Award winners

Rohan Preston, Star Tribune 6/11/14

James Samuel “Cornbread” Harris Sr., the legendary Twin Cities musician who was inducted in the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame in 2012, has won a Sally Award, the Ordway Center announced Monday.

Harris, 87, is a pianist, composer and singer who also is the father of music producer Jimmy Jam. He is the best-known figure among this year’s honorees.

The awards, in their 22nd year, are given annually by the Ordway to honor Sally Ordway Irvine, benefactor and founder of St. Paul’s premier performing arts venue.

The other winners include two institutions that promote music and visual arts: the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, for its online music-learning program, and Franconia Sculpture Park, which was founded in 1996 by artists Fuller Cowles, Tasha Hock and John Hock. The park attracts thousands of visitors annually to its location in Shafer, Minn., in the St. Croix Valley.

The individual winners are educator and musician Elizabeth Jaakola and arts leader Kristine Sorensen.

An Anishinaabe from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, Jaakola is known for choral and traditional music as well as opera. She has performed at the Rome Opera Festival and at Carnegie Hall, and she teaches at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College in Cloquet, Minn.

Sorensen is executive director of In Progress, which seeks to foster diverse digital art-making. It helps Latino, American Indian, Hmong and other youngsters to hone their skills in photography, video and music through workshops in St. Paul.

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