The Beat Goes On: Live Music in Person Returns to The Grand | News, Sports, Jobs
Since 2009, the Grand Kabaret has been a staple in New Ulm for live music, with live performances on the first floor of the Grand Center for Arts & Culture taking place almost every Friday and Saturday evening.
After the COVID-19 pandemic limited live music to six weeks with social distancing measures in place last fall, The Grand was able to entertain the region with eight live virtual musical performances starting last February every two weeks. The virtual music was streamed live on YouTube at thegrandnewulm.com/youtube. These performances were supported in part by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, as well as funds from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
On June 4, the long hunger for live music at the Grand came to an end. The Grand reopened to the public that day for live music in the form of Nate Boots & The High Horses. Nate Boots & The High Horses, an electro-acoustic alt-folk group, has a regular lineup of Nate Boots, Michelle Roche, Ben Scruggs and Lehi Gertz.
The concert was originally scheduled to take place on the Grand Bridge outdoors, but it was moved indoors due to temperatures in the upper 90s.
Charlie Leftridge, executive director of the Grand Center for Arts & Culture, said the return of in-person concerts is an exciting step backwards towards accomplishing the Grand’s missions.
“It’s really exciting for us because our mission is to enrich community life through artistic and cultural experiences” said Leftridge. “The second part of our mission is to support local artists by providing them with opportunities to develop and demonstrate their art. We’ve really struggled with figuring out how to do this throughout the pandemic when we haven’t had the opportunity to have people in the building or the ability to do a lot in terms of programming. So it’s almost like we see our mission come to life and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Going back to booking live performances in person, Leftridge said there are several returning artists at The Grand this summer, along with a slew of exciting new artists from all genres to look forward to.
“We have a really good mix both in terms of genre and local artists. “ said Leftridge. “Tons of acts that people have seen or heard before, but we also put new and rising people in the mix. Our second day will be Maygen & the Birdwatcher [June 11]. It’s kind of like an American, soul, folk band that just got signed to a record label, so we’re so glad to have them. And we have a folk artist called Freaque coming in on July 16, who’s really great and kind of a promising artist. And then Morgan Myles on August 6th is a booming country artist, she’s actually from Nashville. She was recently featured on Rolling Stone as a person to watch for new country music. So it’s a very good mix for the genre and new local artists.
Those interested in seats for performances on the bridge are asked to reserve their seat in advance by calling The Grand at 507-359-9222 during opening hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. All other seats inside the Grand are first come, first served. Participants will be seated half an hour before the show time at 5:30 p.m., with free music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donations for groups are welcome.
From now on, it is not compulsory for spectators to wear masks for outdoor performances at the Grand, but those who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to wear masks indoors.
On June 19, on the Grand Bridge, the Bockfest Boys Trio, an ever-popular New Ulm group. The Bockfest Boys Trio is a scaled-down version of the 8-piece group that has toured Europe and performed many other events in the Upper Midwest.
Those interested in attending on June 19 can expect this trio to feature a Midwestern style of music with original songs as well as hits from the past 50 years and beyond.
For more live music information and all other updates on what The Grand has to offer this summer, please visit www.thegrandnewulm.com.