Best Bets: Lake Superior Jazz Festival, Duluth Junk Hunt and more

Find something to do this week in the Northland.

Jazz orchestra performs onstage against a curtained backdrop. In the foreground, a man in a blue suit plays a trombone.
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra is sending a delegation to the inaugural Lake Superior Jazz Festival in Lutsen.
Contributed / Visit Cook County
We are part of The Trust Project.

DULUTH — As spooky season wraps up, remembrance and reflection are themes of this week's events in the Northland. Read on for a variety of ways to connect with art — or, at least, entertainment — as you welcome November.

Lake Superior Jazz Festival

Lutsong Productions, the company behind the North Shore music festival that debuted this past summer, is bringing more sounds to the shores of our unsalted sea. The inaugural Lake Superior Jazz Festival runs from Friday through Sunday in Lutsen. Lutsen Mountains, the Lutsen Resort and Caribou Highlands are all hosting performances by regional and national artists including Adonis Rose and a septet of musicians from the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. For information and tickets, see

Fall for junk

Ben Hoven, from left, Emily Broman, Jay Broman and Tomie DeRocher at work as "Junk Hunks" in a 2015 photo.
Contributed / Duluth Junk Hunt

"Hunting season is upon us," reads a news release from the Duluth Junk Hunt, and you know they're not talking deer. Emily and Jay Broman, longtime owners of the Duluth Bridgeman's, have seen their Junk Hunt grow from "a half-dozen antique vendors inside the Encounter building in 2012" to a biannual event at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Even if you don't need any more, well, junk, the proprietors encourage you to check it out in search of photo ops and maybe a tasty find at the Junk Hunt Farmers Market. The fall event runs from Thursday through Saturday; see for details.

Courtney Laine Self is moving from New York to join what she calls a "special" organization.

CoComelon Live!

A performer in a giant baby head dances in front of a yellow school bus in a staged show.
"CoComelon Live! JJ's Journey" is advertised as an "unforgettable adventure."
Contributed / CoComelon Live

There are a host of revelations that come with raising a child. Today, one of them is that some of YouTube's most massive stars are characters you've never heard of but who your todder is apt to become obsessed with. That includes Blippi and JJ, both of whom appear in videos produced by the London-based kidvid colossus Moonbug. Blippi's already played the DECC, and now "JJ's Journey" lands at Amsoil Arena on Friday. JJ comes from CoComelon, which has more YouTube subscribers than any other English language channel, and his live show comes sold as a "Broadway-style production" that's "everything your kids want it to be." For tickets and information, see


All Souls Night

Jillian Forte's face lights up as she spins fire during an All Souls Night performance in Duluth on Nov. 4. Clint Austin /
Jillian Forte spun fire during a previous All Souls Night event in Duluth.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Duluth's All Souls Night, led by artist Mary Plaster, is marking its 15th year with Saturday night's festival on Superior Street. The event begins with a 5 p.m. spoken word event at Zeitgeist, followed by a procession down the street to the Duluth Public Library for fire spinning and an 8 p.m. musical celebration at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. Advertised as an "intergenerational, multicultural, and multidisciplinary, nurturing expression from everyone as we recognize loss and embrace what is life-giving," the eclectic event has previously grappled with questions of cultural appropriation. Now, organizers emphasize the trans-cultural relevance of acknowledging grief and expressing hope. "Duluth's dance of death and honoring of the ancestors" is certainly a spectacle, with a 17-foot skeleton marionette named Max at its center. Learn more at

'You can't fight in here! This is the war room!'

Marquee reading ZINEMA, seen against a reflective glass background.
Zeitgeist Zinema marquee.
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

With the Duluth Playhouse making more use of the NorShor Theatre, Duluth's Classic Film series is moving across the street to the Zeitgeist Zinema. The relocated series kicks off Sunday with "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." Stanley Kubrick's Cold War comedy has proved harrowingly evergreen over the nearly 60 years since its original release, with its themes of military madness and mutually assured destruction now permanent fixtures of our nuclear era. A pre-film discussion will help contextualize the movie. For tickets and information, see

Members Only
"Daniel's Gotta Die" is a dark comedy about adult siblings vying for an inheritance. In addition to Saget, the cast includes punk legend Iggy Pop.

A reflective requiem

Interior view of church sanctuary with red-backed chairs replacing pews for seating. the brown pipes of a grand organ are visible in a choir loft.
An interior view of Sacred Heart Music Center and its Felgemaker organ.
Contributed / Friends of the Felgemaker

For many people, the epitome of a requiem is the chilling composition by W.A. Mozart, so memorably featured in the play and movie "Amadeus." That's a brilliant piece of music, but over the centuries composers have taken a wide range of approaches to the requiem. One of the most moving examples is the requiem written by French composer Gabriel Faure in the late 1800s. It's a reflective, peaceful, shimmering piece that, to its composer, suggested "a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest." Conductor Charles Sundquist will lead a performance at Sacred Heart Music Center in a Concert of Remembrance presented by the Friends of the Felgemaker pipe organ — which will also star in several pieces for solo organ that are sharing the Sunday bill. For information and tickets, see

Members Only
Dozens of people packed the Zeitgeist Zinema on Sunday for a screening of the new holiday movie filmed in Duluth. Carmody Irish Pub hosted an afterparty in what's now advertised as the "home of 'Merry Kiss Cam.'"

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 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; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
What to read next
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” Fleetwood Mac said in a statement. “She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure."
The historic mansion has been adorned inside and out for the holiday season, in the spirit of its founding family.
It can take thousands of hours for an Indigenous artist to make a single intricately beaded bandolier bag. Nine of them are now on display at the St. Louis County Depot.
A piece of land next to Garland's childhood home was at risk of being lost to commercial development. "It was a shocker," the museum's executive director said about the $45,000 Superior Choice Credit Union donation that made the purchase possible.