Best Bets: Kick up your heels to Irish music, listen to Zen Blues, see some films

Authentic Irish Music Pub Tour The Authentic Irish Music Pub Tour kicks off tonight at Dubh Linn Irish Pub. The weekly music sessions run Thursday nights at different venues, with various musicians, through April. Tonight will feature Georganne H...

Pub tour musicians
Cameron Butler (from left), Chuck Butler, Mark Monroe, Erin O'Neil, Randy Ellestad, Sue Spencer and Jim Ofsthun are among the musicians who will perform as part of the three-month Authentic Irish Music Pub Tour, starting tonight at Dubh Linn Irish Pub. The roster of musicians changes weekly, and will occasionally feature special guests. Submitted photo

Authentic Irish Music Pub Tour

The Authentic Irish Music Pub Tour kicks off tonight at Dubh Linn Irish Pub. The weekly music sessions run Thursday nights at different venues, with various musicians, through April. Tonight will feature Georganne Hunter on the harp, flute and/or penny whistle; Kevin Oftedahl on the hammered dulcimer; fiddle players Chuck Butler and Mark Monroe; Linda Crumpton on the concertina penny whistle; Irish drumming by Jim Ofsthun; and Randy Ellestad on the Irish button accordion.

Sue Spencer, who sings and plays the accordion and guitar, described the event as an Irish jam session with one musician playing a song and the rest joining in on their respective instruments.

The weekly event will include eight to 10 musicians for each performance. Next week they travel to Dunnigan's North Shore Pub & Grub in Two Harbors.

Time: 7 p.m. today


Place: Dubh Linn Irish Pub, 109 W. Superior St.

Tix: It's free

From sacred to secular: Choral music for all ages

From Age to Age, a Minnesota-based choral ensemble, will perform with the Duluth East Choralaires at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Weber Music Hall at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Duluth East's choir director, Jerome Upton, is part of the ensemble.

The a cappella performance includes sacred and secular music from the Renaissance period to present. From Age to Age contributes to humanitarian organizations that promote global change: The One Acre Fund, which teaches agricultural practices to Kenyan families, and the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is no charge for the performance, but donations are welcome. The group also will provide music at Concordia Lutheran Church, 2501 Woodland Ave., at 8:25 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

From Age to Age is directed by Andrew Miller and is a 25-voice group of singers from across Minnesota.

Experience Zen Blues in Duluth

Get a double dose of the "Zen Blues" guitar player who John Ziegler mentioned in the same sentence as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Bob Brozman in last week's review of Jeff Ray's CD "Last Great Winter."


Jeff Ray plays Beaner's Central on Friday. Jason Stegenga also performs. On Saturday, Ray plays Fitger's Brewhouse.

Ziegler said of the St. Paul-based musician: "The clarity and precision of Ray's bottleneck playing, as it swoops and dives through his vocal lines, is so well-honed and has such an alluring liquid quality that it puts him in a league with the best on the planet."

Time: 7 p.m. Friday at Beaner's Central, 324 N. Central Ave., and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Fitger's Brewhouse, 600 E. Superior St.

Tix: $5 cover for Beaner's show, with Jason Stegenga; Brewhouse show is free

CSS shows American Indian film to benefit Life House

Three troubled teenaged boys from the Swinomish Indian tribe were asked to create a film about the impact of two oil refineries in their community. "March Point" -- which aired on PBS twice in November -- was named best documentary at Toronto's Imagine Native Film Festival. The film was produced by Native Lens, a program offered by a Seattle-based nonprofit that encourages youth to use media for self-expression, cultural preservation and social change, according to its Web site.

"March Point" will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit Life House, a local nonprofit that serves at-risk youth.

A social gathering begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the film. Bill Howes, the Ojibwe Language and Culture Education coordinator, will lead a discussion afterward.


See the romance in 'Sherman's March'

Plans for Ross McElwee's documentary about Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's "March to the Sea" were derailed after McElwee's girlfriend broke up with him. Instead of a historical piece, McElwee's film integrated his personal romantic history. The result: the 1986 film "Sherman's March: A Meditation on the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South during the Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation." It was deemed culturally significant by the Library of Congress in 2000, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

See the film at 8 p.m. Monday at Teatro Zuccone. It's part of the Itty Bitty Cine series, which draws from favorites of Duluth newbie Tim Massert -- a Florida transplant who will run the Zeppa Family Foundation's independent movie theater. Tickets cost $5.

The series shows every other Monday. Next up is "Benjamin Smoke" on Jan. 26.

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