Best Bets: Chuck Leavell returns to Sacred Heart

Find something to do this week in the Northland.

Chuck Leavell.
"Big Wave" Dave Adams, left, and Rolling Stones member Chuck Leavell pose for a picture after performing a take of “Like a Rolling Stone” at Duluth's Sacred Heart Music Center on March 29, 2022.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — In a sure sign of spring, Easter weekend is upon us. If you're celebrating, check out our roundup of family activities — or hit up the Superior Tavern if your idea of Holy Saturday fun includes a "Hoppy Hour." Here are six more events happening in the Northland this week.

From gadget-building to egg-decorating, enjoy this roundup of some events offered this spring.

Chuck Leavell returns to Sacred Heart

Just over a year ago, Chuck Leavell — the keyboardist and vocalist best-known as a longtime performer with the Rolling Stones — visited Sacred Heart Music Center. He filmed a cover of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," jointly with Duluth band Big Wave Dave and the Ripples, for an episode of the PBS series "America's Forests with Chuck Leavell."

On Thursday, Leavell will return to Sacred Heart and reunite with Big Wave Dave for more music, a conversation about local forestry issues, and film screenings including the finished episode. For tickets and information, see

AICHO shelter fundraiser

File: Annie Humphrey
Annie Humphrey performs at Bayfront Festival Park in 2018.
Tyler Schank / File / Duluth News Tribune

Keith Secola, Annie Humphrey and Erik Koskinen will be taking the NorShor Theatre stage Thursday for a concert raising funds that will help supply and expand the American Indian Community Housing Organization's Dabinoo’Igan Domestic Violence Shelter. The shelter's Jen Davey recently told the News Tribune the facility has been turning away 200 women a year due to capacity limits.


"It’s not only going to be music and entertainment, it’s going to be a really great cultural experience, and I think for those who aren’t familiar with Native traditions or culture, it will be an enlightening experience for them," said Davey about the NorShor event. For tickets and information, see

To raise funds for the construction of Dabinoo'Igan, AICHO and the Ordean Foundation are hosting a concert at NorShor Theatre featuring Annie Humphrey, Keith Secola and Erik Koskinen.

St. John Passion

An instructor and young people are seen gathered around the keyboard of a large pipe organ.
The Dan Jaeckel Opus 52-pipe organ at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, as seen during an education event in 2013.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

The St. John Passion is one of J.S. Bach's masterworks: a 1724 oratorio that fuses the composer's contemporary Baroque style with a taste of the more florid future, achieved by way of Italian-style vocal flourishes.

First Lutheran Church will be hosting a Friday performance of the work, which tells the Biblical story of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross. The church's Soli Deo Gloria Choir, St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir, members of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and guest musicians will perform. For details, see

Social Animals roar at the NorShor

Light-skinned woman in billowy dress stands near window with shaft of light coming inward. She raises one hand and tilts her head toward the window.
Social Animals' self-titled debut LP, released in 2022, features a cover photograph by Gus Black.
Contributed / Rise Records

Social Animals have been just about everywhere since forming in Cloquet in 2012. Members have been based in Portland, Nashville and Minneapolis, working their way up to the release last year of their self-titled debut LP. "Rarely has a debut arrived as fully formed," wrote the blog Midland Rocks about the polished, passionate, anthemic release.

The band will be back in the Northland on Friday for a NorShor Theatre gig that they say will be their "last Duluth show for quite a long time" as they plan for a summertime national tour. Ingeborg von Agassiz shares the bill for the show, which is also a fundraiser for children's crisis services. For tickets and information, see

The band from Cloquet has been signed, released an EP, and then had a speedy end to its tour.

Adam Swanson in Virginia

Adam Swanson works on a painting in his studio near his home in rural Cloquet in 2020.
Jamey Malcomb / File / Pine Journal

Northland artist Adam Swanson, whose murals influenced by science fiction and the natural environment can be seen everywhere from STARBASE Duluth to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, is being featured this month at the Lyric Center for the Arts in Virginia.


A dozen of Swanson's recent pieces will be on display in Virginia from Thursday through April 29, and the artist will be present at a Saturday evening reception. Earlier that day, he's teaching an acrylic-painting class for beginners. For information, see

Adam Swanson’s experiences working with researchers in Antarctica and on Lake Superior have influenced his work as a painter. He received a grant to highlight endangered animals in Minnesota.

Making the Carry

White person's hand holding book: "Making the Carry: The Lives of John and Tchi-Ki-Wis Linklater" by Timothy Cochrane
Timothy Cochrane, author of "Making the Carry: The Lives of John and Tchi-Ki-Wis Linklater," will be in Grand Marais on Saturday.
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

"Making the Carry" is a new biography of John and Tchi-Ki-Wis Linklater, a Metis man and Anishinaabe woman who lived in the Ontario-Minnesota canoe and border country from the 1870s until the 1930s. "Throughout their lives," author Timothy Cochrane writes, "John and Tchi-Ki-Wis regularly 'made the carry,' crossing social, cultural, and economic borders." The story of their lives is also the story of a pivotal era in the lands they called home.

On Saturday, Cochrane will be at Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais for a 6 p.m. reading, presentation and book signing. For details, see

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; he's also a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
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