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North Country Faces and Places
May 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Sutter Brothers—Ross and Bart—will present a 50-minute program of music and stories, poetry and song that explores the history, culture, people, critters, and landscape of northern Minnesota. For more than thirty years, The Sutter Brothers have performed shows that integrate Bart’s original writing with Ross’ versions of traditional Scandinavian and American songs and tunes. “North Country Faces and Places” will offer glimpses of early settlers, memories of a vanished village school, a peek inside a pioneer cabin, a lament for lost towns, praise for big bogs, and celebrations of colorful farm folk and fishermen. The show will be specially designed to evoke memories and provoke curiosity about regional history.
Though Ross lives in Minneapolis and Bart in Duluth, the brothers have strong ties to northwestern Minnesota. They spent their earliest years outside of Roseau, and Ross, in fact, is named after the village where they lived. The Sutter Brothers have twice toured their show for the Northwest Regional Library System, and Ross has done many school residencies throughout the region. Bart attended Bemidji State, spent a number of summers on Lake of the Woods, and has published multiple poems, stories, and essays about the area.
Ross plays guitar, button accordion, mountain dulcimer, and Irish drum but is best known for his rich baritone voice. The winner of four fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, he has performed for A Prairie Home Companion and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, among hundreds of other venues. He has also won the prestigious Sally Award from the Ordway Foundation for his work in arts education.
The author of eight books, Bart is the only author to win the Minnesota Book Award in three different categories—poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. He has also written for public radio and has had four plays produced. Winner of the George Morrison Artist Award for his contributions to the arts in northeastern Minnesota, Bart was named the first Poet Laureate of Duluth in 2006.
Though Ross and Bart have established separate reputations as a musician and a writer, they take special pleasure in performing as a pair. They have done well over 100 shows together, and in 2014 won an Arts Tour Minnesota grant to take one of their programs statewide. The pair has performed as far afield as Pennsylvania and Kansas, and, in 2015, went international with a tour in Sweden. Both brothers are featured in the series Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian by the Swedish film company Camera Q.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.