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.


Rap Pioneer

Star Tribune: April 15, 2010 Gil Scott-Heron makes it to the Dakota to show us how its done. Click here to view article.

Free-wheeling Stories & Songs

Star Tribune: May 31, 2010 With Al Kooper, the Rock Guru, creates amazing vibes at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

Memphis Soul Cookin’

Star Tribune: June 15, 2010 Eddie Floyd and Booker T. create 60’s R&B paradise at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

And Here’s…

Star Tribune: July 11, 2010 Legendary drum player Max Weinberg brings his drum beat to the Dakota! Click here to view article.

Recipe for Success

Star Tribune: July 15, 2010 Irv Williams and the Dakota are taking it to the streets. Click here to view article.

Dakota Street Fest

Star Tribune: July 16, 2010 Celebrating 25 years at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

Classic Dixieland Jazz

Star Tribune: July 18, 2010 The Preservation Hall Jazz Band comes to the Dakota bringing old fashioned Dixieland Jazz to the Dakota. Click here to view article.

2011 New Artist of the Year

Star Tribune: September 22, 2010 Esperanza Spalding brings her own flavor by performing at the Dakota! Click here to view article.

A Clarinet Virtuoso

The American Jewish World: September 29, 2010 The Anat Cohen Quartet returns to perform at the Dakota. Click here to view article.