It's that time of year at the Dakota when our annual holiday shows kick into high gear. With a great variety of holiday themed shows and homecoming gigs for a handful Minnesota performers coming up, the Dakota becomes a warmer place with friends, family and fans to reconnect each year.

In addition to all these wonderful shows, we also invite you to give the gift of world-class food and world-renowned music this holiday season! Dakota/Vieux Carré gift cards make the ideal gift, as they can be used for dinner, drinks, or tickets to any Dakota show, or food and beverages at Vieux Carré. From now through December 23, receive a $20 promo card as a gift from us with every $100 in gift cards purchased.

For the first year, we are proud to announce that Dakota Gift Cards can also be used at Vieux Carré, our sister venue in St. Paul! This New Orleans-influenced speakeasy appeals to both casual and urbane audiences, and is the perfect addition to the downtown St. Paul community. Use your gift card for the food and drink portion of your evening out!

Whether you are meeting old friends or family for dinner, or coming to a show for the first time, the Dakota and Vieux Carré are prime spots for making an evening special! Gift cards make a great gift for friends, family, co-workers, and other people you should remember this holiday season, such as mail carriers, hairdressers, baristas, and others.

Gift cards can be purchased in person or online at

Holiday shows coming up at the Dakota
Davina & the Vagabonds

Come celebrate Three Days of Thanks with Davina & the Vagabonds!

“She purrs and growls, whispers and wails. Sweet and seductive one moment, she’s in your face the next, and then she makes you laugh. Her voice is a complex, expressive, flexible instrument made of sugar and grit.” – Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time. So much more than just a blues act, DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Davina’s voice and stage presence defy category in a different way. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice. Sowers is a true original.

Ramsey Lewis Quartet: the Sound of Christmas

4 shows in all over 2 nights with the legendary Ramsey Lewis!

One of the legendary pianists in the history of jazz, Ramsey Lewis transcends superlative. Classically trained, he has lent his brilliant technique to the vast musical treasures of gospel and blues music, becoming one of the most accessible and widely respected pianists in music. Winner of three Grammy Awards and the recipient of an amazing 7 Gold Records (unheard of in the jazz world), Mr. Lewis is recently the recipient of a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards. He has been granted four Honorary Doctorates, and in 2007 he earned a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

After having played mostly in an acoustic trio for the last fifteen years, Lewis’ latest endeavor has him returning to his electric roots. Lewis’ latest recording, “Taking Another Look,” features a new electric quintet with Henry Johnson on guitar, Michael Logan on keys, Joshua Ramos on bass and Charles Heath on drums. On the ten song CD, Lewis rekindles his 1974 career-defining album “Sun Goddess” through a collection of re-recorded tracks from the original disc perfectly balanced with five new tunes.

9 & 10
New York Voices Holiday Show

In 2013, the New York Voices commemorated their 25th Anniversary by releasing their first Holiday recording, “Let It Snow.” Celebrate the season in style with this acclaimed vocal group!

This critically acclaimed vocal group has refined their musical story to a high art. They are known for their close-knit voicings, inspired arrangements and unparalleled vocal blend. Their chameleon-like musicianship allows them to move seamlessly from setting to setting, be it orchestral/big band to the intimate trio lineup. With deep interests rooted in jazz, Brazilian, R & B, classical, and pop, their music mixes traditional sensibilities with more than a dash of the unexpected. They are first call from great arrangers and conductors like Don Sebesky, Michael Abene, Keith Lockhart, and Rob Fisher who all know and admire the complexity of what they do and want something out of the ordinary, something extraordinary. Like the great jazz vocal groups that have come before — Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Singers Unlimited, and The Manhattan Transfer — they are firmly a part of that legacy and are dedicated to passing it on to generations to come.

December 14
Larry McDonough Quartet presents Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things

Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed and recorded with international jazz artists Benny Golson, Lew Soloff, Steve Swallow, Fred Wesley, Duane Eubanks, Steve Khan, and Rob Mounsey, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists. While in music school, her performed in student ensembles with Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Thad Jones. He was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released eight CDs and DVDs as a leader, including “Simple Gifts,” which reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world. He also is a lawyer and law professor selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of “100 Who Made a Difference” over the 100-year history of the school. Larry directs pro bono legal services for the poor at Dorsey & Whitney.

December 17
Sonny Knight and the Lakers

As documented on 2014's live recording "Do It Live", Sonny Knight & the Lakers have made the Dakota a homecoming stop after another solid years of bringing their soulful, funky sound around the world. The Dakota is proud to bring them back for another stretch of shows, four in all, over two nights.

Being devoted collectors of classic R&B and soul records, creating a live album was something the band always thought about, but never had any solid plans for. The Dakota Jazz Club was a welcome stop after touring throughout Europe, and after securing the booking, Secret Stash Records founder and Lakers drummer, Eric Foss, realized that it would be one of the final opportunities to capture the show before tearing it apart and building a new one. Sonny Knight recalls, “We played that show for such a long time that things were just right. Things had already been tweaked, everything was there, and everything was ready to go.” Lots of jumping through logistical hoops ensued in the days leading up to the shows. The club’s staff, already supporters of the band and Secret Stash, was fortunately game for the procedure. They allowed the label to transform the artist green room into a fully functional, 100% analog recording studio control room, drilling holes through the walls to run cables in order to get a live feed. After that, all that was left was the actual performing part. The end result "Do it Live" is the perfect snapshot in time of a band still rising and hotter than ever.

18 & 19
The Peterson Family: The Jam Before Christmas

Back for another year, performing 2 shows, The Peterson family are a fixture at the Dakota, maintaining consistent performances and audience culminating in this wonderful night of music during the holidays.

Minnesota’s First Family of Music, The Peterson Family, has been performing locally, nationally, and internationally for many years. The family consists of Linda, Billy, Patty, Ricky and Paul as well as third generation, Jason Peterson DeLaire.

December 20
The Bad Plus

It's time for another marathon of 8 shows over 4 nights with The Bad Plus! Having made this stretch of mind-blowing performances an annual tradition, we celebrate 16 years of the band making the Dakota home during the Christmas holiday.

The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance. Based in New York City, the intensely collaborative trio has constantly searched for rules to break and boundaries to cross, bridging genres and techniques while exploring the infinite possibilities of three exceptional musicians working in perfect sync. The Bad Plus’ 10th studio recording, Inevitable Western, sees bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King further honing the same conceptual base that fired their inception. Yet again they continue to explore myriad musical forms born of jazz along with any sonic source that forwards music that is uniquely The Bad Plus. Inevitable Western is an album where pop, blues, and folk meld with classic melodies and rhythmic innovation into that rarest of hybrids: intelligent music for the masses.

New Year's Eve with Davina & the Vagabonds

Once again we bring Dakota favorites Davina & the Vagabonds to the stage to bring in the New Year. Book your reservations for the dinner show or the cocktail show and prepare to bring in 2016 in style!

December 31
United State of Americana Sixth Birthday Celebration with Pokey Lafarge
November 13
Fine Line

"It really feels like I'm taking a big step forward on this one," Pokey LaFarge says of Something in the Water, his seventh album and his Rounder debut. "While we were recording it, I kept thinking, 'Hey, we're really onto something here.’" Indeed, the dozen-song set marks a new landmark in a career that's already filled with musical highlights. The St. Louis-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist draws from a deep well of American musical traditions to create distinctively personal music that's timeless rather than retro, transcending the confines of genre in a manner that reflects the artist's openhearted attitude.

Incorporating elements of early jazz, ragtime, country blues, Western swing, and beyond, LaFarge has created a vibrant, deeply expressive body of work that embodies an expansive musical vision and vivid storytelling sensibility that are wholly his own. He's also earned a reputation as a tireless, uniquely charismatic live performer, winning a loyal international fan base that regularly packs his rousing, celebratory live shows. more info
Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall
November 19
Orchestra Hall

JAZZ IN THE TARGET ATRIUM AT ORCHESTRA HALL LOOKING EAST: New York Looms Large Featuring: Ron Miles, trumpet / Atrium Jazz Ensemble Looking East explores the world of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, George Gershwin and others who shared their hometown through music—arranged and composed by members of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble.
more info
Glen Hansard
November 20
State Theatre

Didn’t He Ramble, the second solo outing from acclaimed singer songwriter Glen Hansard, will be released September 18 via Anti- Records. The new album is his first in over three years and follows 2012’s solo debut Rhythm & Repose, which Billboard hailed as “Hansard at his most engaging,” while The Wall Street Journal furthered, “Hansard’s distinguishing trait as a songwriter is a heavy-handed earnestness.”

Didn’t He Ramble was produced by Thomas Bartlett (The National, Sufjan Stevens), a frequent collaborator of Hansard’s, and Grammy winner and former Frames band-mate David Odlum (Paloma Faith, Tinariwen). The album, which was recorded in New York, Dublin, Chicago and France, is Hansard’s most intimate and elegant record since his work in Once and features guest appearances by John Sheahan (Dubliners), Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) and Sam Amidon.
more info
Dead & Company
November 21
Target Center

Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir joined forces with singer/guitarist John Mayer to form the band Dead & Company. The band will take the stage at a series of shows at the legendary Madison Square Garden beginning October 31st and will perform two sets of music drawing largely from the Dead’s historic catalog of songs.

"There is a place where music, dreams and magic come together. Grateful Dead music is a portal to that place. It was built to last!” - Mickey Hart. more info

Just Announced!

Sara Tavares and Carminho
Nov 19 – 7 pm
$45 and $55

Garland Jeffreys
Jan 24
7 pm – $35

TONIGHT! The Subdudes
Nov 11 Eilen Jewell
Nov 12 Andrew Walesch Big Band
Nov 13 Frazey Ford
Nov 13 Dakota Late Night with Astrobeard
Nov 14 Nachito Herrera
Nov 14 Dakota Late Night with Miss Myra and the Moonshiners
Nov 15 Paula Cole
Nov 16 Regina Carter "Southern Comfort"
Nov 17 Howie Day
Nov 18 Jeff Daniels and the Ben Daniels Band
Nov 19 Sara Tavares & Carminho
Nov 20 American Roots Revue
Nov 20 Dakota Late Night with Queen Drea's Soul Chamber
Nov 21 Kelley Hunt
Nov 21 Dakota Late Night with MC Longshot
22 & 23
Karrin Allyson
Nov 24 fDeluxe
Nov 27 Dakota Late Night with Emma Rena
Nov 28 Dakota Late Night with Ginstrings
Nov 29 Reneé Austin
Nov 30 Pat Martino
Dec 1 The Gibson Brothers
Dec 2 Diane Schuur
Dec 3 Jon McLaughlin
Dec 4 The Girls Holiday Show
Dec 4 Dakota Late Night with Avalon Moon
Dec 5 Donna the Buffalo and Peter Rowen
Dec 5 Dakota Late Night with I.B.E. & Benzilla
Dec 6 JD Souther and Nellie McKay
Dec 8 Jamison Ross
Dec 11 Rio Nido
Dec 11 Dakota Late Night with PaVielle
Dec 13 Johnny A.
Dec 18 Dakota Late Night with Ray Barnard
Nachito Herrera and the Universals featuring Karen Briggs
Dec 26 Dakota Late Night with Ginstrings
3 & 4
Tribute to James Brown featuring Sonny Knight and the Lakers with Fred Wesley and Jabo Starks
Jan 7 The Potash Twins
Jan 8 Jay Young and the Lyric Factory
Jan 10 Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues with Ernie Watts
13 & 14
Pure Prairie League
Jan 29 John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
Feb 2 Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell
8 & 9
John Scofield and Joe Lovano Quartet
Feb 19 Sierra Hull
Feb 25 Rebirth Brass Band
2 & 3
Brian Blade Fellowship
4 & 5
Aaron Neville
Shawn Colvin
Apr 28 Emily West
17 & 18
Nils Lofgren
The Dakota • Downtown Minneapolis
1010 Nicollet Mall
MPLS, MN 55403 • 612-332-1010
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