About Us

Dakota HistoryNoteworthy Food & Music

Established in 1985, the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant opened in St. Paul and has since moved to downtown Minneapolis. We are proud of our history as a part of the Twin Cities community. Read a little about it below!

Over the last nearly three decades the Dakota has taken new approaches to evolve our music styles, outreach, audience and approach to fine dining.

Opened in October of 1985 by Lowell Pickett, the Dakota was originally located in St. Paul’s Bandana Square.  Some years later with the intention to expand, Lowell partnered with current co-owner Richard Erickson and traveled across the river to Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall. Currently located at Target world headquarters, the Dakota has blossomed in its new home as a premier music venue in the Midwest.

Over the years we have housed acclaimed chefs, shelved exotic spirits and hosted the best and most talented musicians of the century: from Prince, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Ramsey Lewis and Betty LaVette to Larry Graham and Dave Brubeck.  Among the best musicians from both a local, national and international perspective, artists often request to play at the Dakota and it has become a bench mark location for many artists in terms of their musical success.

As we’ve grown, our resources have allowed us to expand our philanthropic efforts. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education provides resources for Minnesota’s youth to learn jazz from a traditional perspective. We believe strongly in the preservation of jazz as an immense piece of American tradition. By giving our youth the inspiration of great musicians, we allow them a foundation from which to form their own music and maybe, just maybe create a completely new genre and style of music. Appreciation and mastery of musical arts is what the Dakota has promoted in every way possible for nearly 30 years.


Accentuating the Positive

Pioneer Press: January 12, 1990 The Dakota host a benefit for Ed Blackwell to give back the beat to jazz music. Click here to view article.

O’Donnell’s Take on Garner’s Classic

Pioneer Press: January 20, 1990 Hear Tommy O’Donnell perform “Misty” at the Dakota. He gives on of the best arrangements to “Misty” out there in music. Click here to view article.

O’Donnell at the Dakota

Pioneer Press: January 28, 1990 Tommy O’Donnell’s amazing performance. His illuminating performance left the Dakota wanting more.  Click here to view article.

Top of the Week

Pioneer Press Dispatch: February 15, 1990 James Williams is “One of the finest jazz pianists of his generation” performing at the Dakota.  Click here to view article.

Carmen Sloane at the Dakota

Star Tribune: March 20, 1990 Replacing McRae, Sloane takes the stage at her first performance at the Dakota. Her improvisational techniques proved to be better than the Dakota could’ve hoped for. Click here to view article.

Culture to Go

City Pages: March 28, 1990 Courtney Pine to perform at the Dakota and let the Twin Cities relive the era of Duke Ellington.  Click here to view article.

Blowing in on a High Note

Star Tribune: March 28, 1990 Courtney Pine performing tonight. Listen to the relaxing sounds that made Duke Ellington a household name. Click here to view article.

Crowd Pleaser

Pioneer Press: March 28, 1990 The Pioneer Press reviews William’s riveting performance. Click here to view article.

Dazzling the Dakota

Pioneer Press: March 29, 1990 A review of Courtney Pine’s performance. British sax sensation dazzles the Dakota. Click here to view article.

Strings Attached

Pioneer Press: April 13, 1990 Mr. T is playing it all. Click here to view article.