Available to stream Fridays through Sundays, January 22–February 21
Saint Paul, Minnesota (January 12, 2021) — The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts today announced Winter Weekends with the Ordway, a weekly concert series featuring five different musical acts presented in an accessible, pay-what-you-wish format. With musical styles ranging from Grammy Award-winning rockabilly to salsa, bagpipes, stunning vocals, and zydeco, this musical extravaganza has something for everyone.
Winter Weekends with the Ordway digital concerts will be available to stream over five consecutive weekends, Fridays through Sundays, beginning January 22. Patrons can enjoy one concert each weekend, or combine multiple concerts to create their own world music festival weekend. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish (including free!) per household device and go on sale January 14 at 10:00am, on Ordway.org.
Featured acts include Lee Rocker, Grammy-nominated Stray Cats founder and Bass Player Hall of Famer; Naturally 7, an American music group with a distinct a cappella style they call vocal play; Red Hot Chilli Pipers, an internationally renowned rock ensemble consisting of bagpipers, guitarists, keyboards, and drummers; Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, a thrilling 11-piece salsa group from New York City; and MOJO and the Bayou Gypsies, all-original mojo music in the Louisiana Bayou traditions of pure Americana!
“We’ll heat up Minnesota winter weekends with this exciting lineup of concerts our community can enjoy from the warmth of their homes! This series underscores our continuing commitment to deliver the exceptional, high-quality, and diverse programming our audiences expect,” noted Dayna Martinez, Ordway Senior Programming Director.
Lee Rocker made his mark singing and playing, standing on, spinning, and rocking his giant upright bass as a founding member of the Grammy-nominated music group The Stray Cats, along with Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom. The Stray Cats sold over 10 million albums, garnered 23 gold and platinum-certified records, and were music video pioneers of MTV. Worldwide mega hits “Stray Cat Strut,” “Sexy and Seventeen,” and “Rock this Town” have become a part of the fabric of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has included “Rock this Town” as one of the 500 most important songs in rock.
Lee Rocker has been consistently touring, recording, and performing around the globe since 1980 and has cultivated a fanatically loyal following of rockers, rebels, and all types of music lovers. He is known for making his upright double bass appear as if it were a lightweight instrument as he spins, throws it in the air, and plays it on stages throughout the world. This show is a time for him to tell stories about his days on the road and in the music business for the last 35 years – including sharing stories about his adventures lugging the giant piece of equipment around.
Naturally 7 is more than a tightly orchestrated collection of great singers. They transform their voices into actual human instruments, effortlessly producing music of any genre. Their vocal choreography is so perfectly interwoven that they compelled the musical maestro himself, Quincy Jones, to declare that “Naturally 7 is the future of vocal music!” Their sonic mastery was on full display in a series of unforgettable performances on “The World’s Best” TV show, which premiered on CBS immediately following Super Bowl LIII. Hosted by comedian and “Car Karaoke” collaborator James Corden, Naturally 7 reigned supreme as the world’s “Best Group,” and cemented their singular status among the planet’s musical elite.
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
It’s bagpipes. It’s rock. It’s bagrock. AC/DC meets the poet Robert Burns, where rock anthems sit comfortably alongside the great tunes from the glens and the mountains of Scotland.
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, an internationally renowned ensemble consisting of pipers, guitarists, keyboards, and drummers, have been rocking the world from New York to Beijing to Melbourne and everywhere in between with musicianship of the highest order and a passion for pipes that leave audiences breathless. Formed in 2002, The Chillis have fast become a global phenomenon, taking their signature “bagrock” sound to the masses with their unique fusion of rocked-up Bagpipes and clever covers of popular songs from all genres. Their trademarked sound includes traditional pipe tunes like “The Flowers of Scotland,” “The Hills of Argyll,” and “Amazing Grace” (done Chilli-style, of course!), as well as contemporary anthems like Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” “Clocks” by Coldplay, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, “Let Me Entertain You” by Robbie Williams, and a fantastic rock medley of “Deep Purple,” “Smoke on the Water,” and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”
Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra
Indie rock meets a Latin beat: hot, hot hot!
The Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is a thrilling 11-piece salsa group which plays dynamic dura arrangements of indie rock tunes we love. This group performs innovative, astonishing salsa with a new, vibrant aesthetic. With an ever-evolving set list that includes songs by Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio, Spoon, M83, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Black Keys, and many more, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra has taken the typical salsa form and infused it with a completely modern identity. The explosive arrangements have established the band as a groundbreaking force in the New York underground, and has led to international acclaim for this completely new approach to the genre.
MOJO and the Bayou Gypsies
This bayou man, Mister MOJO, and his troupe of near-mad musical provocateurs have poured Louisiana fire on audiences across the planet for over a quarter century.
Few performers can lift an audience like MOJO, star of the Bayou Gypsies, performing all-original Louisiana music certified by the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The music reflects the Louisiana zydeco band, as well as Cajun and New Orleans two-steps, rock and roll, and blues rhythms. MOJO combines the styles in a gleeful gumbo he calls “red hot mojo music.” The band delivers a thrilling crescendo of Cajun accordion, fiddle, rubboards, and more.
Special thanks to Bremer Bank for their major support of online programming at the Ordway.