Rondo Community Music Series

Sponsored by The Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts

September 2022 – February 2023

We’re excited for the 2022 Rondo Community Music Series, sponsored by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts. This year’s lineup features more of our talented faculty, and more concert dates for you to join. 

All shows begin at 7pm | Full lineup and RSVP info below.

These concerts are free to attend, however your support makes our mission for music education possible. To support our work by making a one-time or monthly donation visit: walkerwest.org/donate

Once they have aired, concerts will be available to rewatch anytime. Continue down the page to save your spot for upcoming dates and to rewatch your favorite shows.


2022 Series Concerts

Give Get Sistet (Rewatch anytime)

The Give Get Sistet is an expandable, improvisational chorus of Black women and non-binary artists based in the Twin Cities with ties around the world.Using a cappella singing and vocal improvisation, the Give Get Sistet entertains, educates and empowers audiences and communities from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. These artists listen deeply and sing with great generosity and daring, the music they make is unlike any other ensemble you’ve heard. 

This was the first appearance for the Give Get Sistet in our series. 

This concert aired on September 9th, you may rewatch anytime on our youtube channel or in our virtual music hall on Crowdcast.

Continue on to register for upcoming series dates!

(Add to calendar)

Selby Ave Brass Band ft. Thomasina Petrus

Saturday, September 24 – Save your spot

We’re glad to welcome Selby Ave Brass Band ft. Thomasina Petrus back to the series for the second time. This group always bring something dynamic to the stage. Be sure to tell a friend about this upcoming set.

The Selby Avenue Brass Band brings a unique voice to the Twin Cities music scene with a mix of New Orleans jazz and other genres. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger, composer, and Walker|West teaching artist. The band features Twin Cities premier vocalist, Thomasina Petrus. 

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Kevin Washington and RA Spirit

Friday, October 21  – Save your spot

Kevin Washington has been part of this series since it’s inception, with his group RA Spirit performing in the 2021 series as well. You won’t want to miss their return. Kevin is among the most versatile of jazz musicians-as adept at playing straight ahead tunes as he is incorporating Afro-Latin rhythms on hip-hop into his sets. He has studied under legendary drummer Max Roach and has played with top jazz performers such as saxophonist Antonio Hart and James Carter. Kevin is a Walker|West instructor. 

Joining Kevin on stage are musicians Deevo (Gtr) Jack Breen (Sax) Kavyesh Kaviraj (Keys) and Yonathin Bekure (Bass). 

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Tower of Power Horns

Saturday, October 29, 2022  – Save your spot

Trumpeter Gerard Ahlgren is based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota. He currently holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from McNally Smith College of Music with emphasis on Jazz Studies. Gerard plays locally with Blue Water Kings, Soultight Committee, Northstar, Jaedyn James and the Hunger, and Moonlight Serenaders. Gerard also has extensive experience playing professionally with the History Theatre and for Old Log Theater as well as Breck Middle School. Because of his diverse training from various trumpet players including Dave Jensen, Charles Lazarus, Marshall Scott, Michael Davison, and Adam Meckler, Gerard is fluent in several styles of music including jazz, blues, latin, fusion, and classical.

This is the first appearance for Tower of Power Horns in our series. 

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Jack Breen

Saturday, November 12, 2022  – Save your spot

Jack Breen has deep roots within the Walker|West community. A student of Walker|West since 2004, Jack started lessons with Felix James and has been a member of our Teaching and Performing faculty since 2019. In 2018 Jack graduated Lawrence University Conservatory with a dual degree in Saxophone performance and Music Education, and was an intern at the New York Jazz Academy in Manhattan.

During Jack’s playing career he’s performed with a multitude of artists both local and nationally, including Bill Carrothers, Mike Stern, Jose Encarnancion, and Walker|West’s own instructors -Kevin Washington, Kavyesh Kaviraj, and Charlie Lincoln. 

This is the first appearance for Jack Breen in our series. Jack has studied and played with the best, let’s pack the virtual house for his headlining debut for RCMS.

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Duncan & Robinson

Saturday, November 19, 2022 – Save your spot

Duncan & Robinson return to the series for the 3rd year. We can’t wait of the sounds of these incredible artists hit the airwaves again. This duo, along with background fro the WDP singers will perform gospel, jazz and R&B. As Mr. Duncan promised, “you’ll be inspired and you won’t walk out the same.” 

William Duncan was born in Motown, was once a child prodigy and Minister of Music. Mr. Duncan grew up surrounded by music, working with some of the greatest gospel artists of multiple generations (like the late Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark and her daughters The Clark Sisters, Byron Cage, Fred Hammond, J. Moss, the Winans, the late Donald Valis and Thomas Whitfield to name a few). Most recently Mr. Duncan was commissioned to compose an original work for, “Art in This Present Moment,” an initiative by the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation where he worked with local artists for the piece. 

Robert Robinson is reason to believe that the greatest music reaches everyone, crossing every border and boundary –from the Pontiac Silvedome to troops in South Korea. Robert possesses the ability to sing any song while remaining true to his style and vision. 

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Jack Barrett

Saturday, December 3, 2022  – Save your spot

Need some music after the holiday weekend? Don’t miss Jack’s first appearance in this series. Unwind with music and leftovers with this virtual concert.

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Babatunde Lea

Saturday, December 10, 2022  – Save your spot

We’re glad to welcome again, Babatunde Lea, for his third performance in this series. His performance in the inaugural year of the series brought down the house. A master percussionist, Babatunde Lea plays what he calls the Traponga, which is made up of three congas, a cajote (or cowbell), trap drums and upright cymbals. Lea’s music is inspired by African and Caribbean rhythms combined with the modern local jazz movements. 

Throughout his career Bro. Babatunde has worked with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyler and Randy Weston, among others. For Lea, African drumming is a spiritual experience and he enjoys passing on what he’s learned as a member of our faculty here at Walker|West. Don’t miss this show and be sure to tell a friend. 

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Minneapolis String Project

Friday, January 13, 2023 – Save your spot

On the Friday before MLK Day, start your weekend with the sounds of Minneapolis String Project. A high energy trio that’s breaking boundaries through eclectic pop/funk covers and genre-defying original works. Ernest Bisong, David Feily, and Greg Byers performed together for years in diverse spheres of the Minnesota music scene before forming their unique musical partnership. This is their first appearance in the series.

Alongside his mainstream classical training, Nigerian-born violinist Ernest Bisong found an appreciation for contemporary musical styles and thus began an exploration of the jazz genre early in his career. Having performed at SXSW in 2012, Ernest has played on many stages since. Ernest has opened for such acts as Richard Bona, Mike Stern, Marcus Johnson, Marsha Ambrosius, and the illustrious Anita Baker. 

The first jazz cellist/bassist to graduate fro the University of Miami, Greg Byers has a pioneering music style. With a focus on modern genres, improvisation, and integrating technology Greg branches into new territory with his work. Off stage, Greg is a passionate educator, dynamic clinician, and in-demand recording artist & producer. 

Born in Seoul and raised in Maryland, David Feily studied music at University of St. Thomas. Now an in-demand guitarist, banjos, mandolinist and bassist; you know him from his work with New Sound Underground and Rhythm Street Movement. He has gained a deeper understanding of his own unique sound through his unique collaborations; an amalgamation of many different genres of music.

MPLS String Project deviates from the standard repertoire of classical or bluegrass instruments and instead draws from jazz, fusion, rock, soul, folk, and Brazilian music influences. Their original compositions expand the conventional use of the many instruments they play. Live performances leave audiences dazzled by their technical wizardry, simpatico improvisation, and engaging on-stage presence. 

*MPLS String project is sponsored by McPherson Guitars, Coda Bow, D’Addario Strings, NS Design, and Acoustic Electric Strings.

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Felix James

Saturday, February 4, 2023 – Save your spot

Don’t miss this special Black History Month performance and Felix’s first appearance in the series.

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.

(Add to calendar)

Jacob Dodd

Saturday, February 11, 2023  – Save your spot

During Black History Month, catch this wonderful performance from Walker|West Teaching & Performance artists, Jacob Dodd. This is Jacob’s first performance for this series. 

Minnesota native, Jacob Dodd graduated from Jackson State University in 2013 with a BA in Piano Performance. During his undergrad years Jacob was a member of the iconic Sonic Boom of the South marching band, even becoming a saxophone section leader for multiple years. 

After graduation, Jacob quickly transitioned into his music career by returning to his home state becoming assistant music director at his home church in St. Paul, MN. After a few years, he is became the Minister of Music. He also started to become a collaborative musician by accompanying and piloting a piano program for a nonprofit children’s chorus called “ComMUSICation,” for youth in his community. 

Jacob also has collaborated with an eclectic background of artists such as Stokley, Dottie Peoples, “The Voice” Jesse Larson, and Kierra Sheard, to name a few.Jacob currently teaches private/school partnership group piano lessons of a wide range musical styles, and freelances with local/internationally acclaimed musicians across the Twin Cities. He also has done some piano instruction at Minneapolis College.

In order to watch with us in our virtual music hall, be sure to click ‘Save My Spot’ when you get to Crowdcast, to get updates about this show, including a reminder just before show begins.


Previous Concerts (Rewatch Anytime)

2021 Series Concerts

December 18, 2021: Malamanya

Watch the replay of the ‘Malamanya’ performance on Crowdcast

December 3, 2021: Tish Jones

Watch the replay of the ‘Tish Jones’ performance on Crowdcast

November 20, 2021: Duncan & Robinson

Watch the replay of the ‘Duncan & Robinson’ performance on Crowdcast

November 6, 2021: LA Buckner Band

Watch the replay of the ‘LA Buckner Band’ performance on Crowdcast

October 9th, 2021: PaviElle French
Watch the replay of the ‘PaviElle French’ performance on Crowdcast

October 15, 2021: Selby Avenue Brass Band, featuring Thomasina Petrus
Watch the replay of the ‘Selby Ave Brass Band’ performance on Crowdcast

October 29, 2021: Kevin Washington Quintet
Watch the replay of the ‘RA SPIRIT (Kevin Washington Quintet)’ performance on Crowdcast

2020 Series Concerts

We Are King – Friday September 11
Watch the replay of the ‘We Are King’ Performance on Crowdcast or on Facebook.

Babatunde Lea – Saturday October 10
Watch the replay of the ‘Babatunde Lea’ performance on Crowdcast or on Facebook.

Roy Hargrove Tribute (re-broadcast) – Saturday October 17
Watch the replay of the ‘Roy Hargrove Tribute (re-broadcast)’ performance on Crowdcast or Facebook.

Kevin Washington – Saturday October 24
Watch the replay of the ‘Kevin Washington Quintet’ performance on Crowdcast or Facebook.

DeSean Jones – Saturday, November 7
Watch the replay of the De’Sean Jones performance on Crowdcast or Facebook.

Ashley DuBose – Saturday, December 5
Watch the replay of the Ashley DuBose performance on Crowdcast or Facebook.

Duncan & Robinson – Saturday, December 12
Watch the replay of the Duncan & Robinson performance on Crowdcast or Facebook.


About this Series:

Beginning in the 1910s and 1920s, the Rondo Community experienced a social and cultural boom. Music and theater flourished. African-American churches, businesses, and schools set down roots, creating a strong community.  The construction of Interstate 94 between 1956 and 1968 cut the community in half, displacing over 700 residents –fracturing Rondo’s identity as a cultural center. 

The Rondo Community Music Series was created to celebrate the community were Walker|West was born, and to offer our contribution to the musical and cultural boom of the Historic Rondo / Summit-University area. For 3 years we’ve offered world-class musicianship, sensational vocalists, poignant poets, and more! 

With the support of the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts the series is back for year 3. We will still offer the opportunity to watch (and re-watch) these shows virtually, with some opportunities to gather in-person.

Mission: Walker|West creates a music learning community rooted in the African-American cultural experience, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, explore and grow through music.

Support programming like this with a gift to Walker|West: https://walkerwest.org/donate/