Art Hounds recommend folk music and international film

A row of people stand for a photo.
Ukrainian Village Band has a performance coming up at the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis.
Courtesy of Ukrainian Village Band

Florence Brammer of West St. Paul says the newly refurbished St. Anthony Main Theatre is “absolutely gorgeous,” and she’s excited for its new life as MSP Film at The Main. The Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society has taken over operations and will now be programming all five screens year-round.

Brammer looks forward to attending in a space dedicated to independent and international film.

The society will also highlight the work of Minnesota artists through such special programming as Minnesota Made, Cine Latino and Nextwave, a youth filmmaking initiative.

The space will debut as host for the 41st annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, with films starting Thursday at 7 p.m. The MSPIFF has a full lineup for those attending in person as well as virtual screenings this year.

The festival was fully online in 2020 and hybrid in 2021. Cheerfully titled “Shine Through,” the festival runs through May 19, with additional films at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, the Capri Theater in Minneapolis, and Gray Duck Theater and Coffeehouse in Rochester.

Sarah Larsson of the Nightingale Trio is a dedicated performer and student of the Eastern European folk music of her ancestors. She recommends the Ukrainian Village Band as “an incredibly addictive party band” playing both traditional and contemporary music.

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Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UVB has gone from party band to organizing force, and they are behind two musical fundraising efforts this weekend.

On Friday, UVB will be performing in a “Musicians for Ukraine” concert at the Dakota in Minneapolis at 7 p.m. That concert line-up also includes the Orkestar Bez Ime, who plays music of the Rom people across Eastern Europe, and the folk-rock band SlovCzech. The event is being organized by Natalie Nowytski from Okrestar Bez Ime. MCN6 will be streaming the concert online.

Then on Sunday, members of UVB will host as eight Twin Cities bands play in the “Band Aid for Ukraine” concert at the Minnesota Music Cafe from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event will also be live-streamed through its Facebook page. Funds raised go to Stand With Ukraine MN.

Dinesh Krishnajois of Bloomington loves listening to improvisational music from around the world, and he wants to spread the word about the “ethereal voice” of scholar and vocalist Pooja Goswami Pavan. Pavan will perform "Jashn-e-Awadh,” a celebration of love ballads from the Awadh region in northern India, written during the early days of British occupation.

“Awadh was the epicenter of intense political, cultural and social activities,” Krishnajois explains, adding that “in these tumultuous times, the poets, composers, and folklorists wrote music and poetry full of hope, compassion and communal harmony.” Some of these classic songs have since entered the public sphere through Hindi film.

The chamber music format will also feature Kedar Naphade on harmonium, Pankaj Mishra on sarangi, and Pavan on tabla. The 6 p.m. Sunday performance is at the Plymouth Playhouse, located within the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Plymouth.