2017 Twin Cities Pride Festival Performers
By Amy Brockman
Photos courtesy of Twin Cities Pride
The 2017 Twin Cities Pride Festival has two full days of free performances on four stages from 12:00–6:00 p.m. on June 24 and 25. The Pride in Concert is an 18+ ticketed performance on June 24 from 6:00–10:00 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at www.nightout.com/events/pride-in-concert/tickets. Enjoy the show…and this alphabetical listing of acts!
All God’s Children
Loring Stage | June 24 | 12:45–1:15 p.m.
The All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church Praise Team performs both sacred, secular, pop, and jazz music, depending on the engagement. They have performed at the Twin Cities Pride for over 15 years. www.agcmcc.org
Ass N’ Sass Cabaret
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Ass N’ Sass is a new cabaret troupe in the Twin Cities, bringing you some sassy, sexy, scintillating spectacles. www.facebook.com/pg/assnsass
Power to the People Stage | June 24 | 2:00–2:45 p.m.
Axel Foley is a rapper from Minneapolis. He raps about life and his experiences. Learning, growing, partying, having fun, friends, love, adventures, and much more all (w)rapped up in dope lyrics and melodic skills on the mic. www.axelfoley.bandcamp.com
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 2:15–2:45 p.m.
A natural storyteller with a deep compassion for the lost and forgotten voices of our culture, Barb Ryman expects music to be more than entertaining. With a crystalline voice and skillfully played guitar, Barb delivers a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, drawing from Celtic balladry, early rock, old-time gospel, and her own unique style. www.barbryman.com
BeBe Zahara Benet
Loring Stage | June 25 | 12:00–6:00 p.m.
With the glamour and class of Diana Ross, the edge and boldness of Grace Jones, and the sass and fire of Beyonce (Sasha Fierce), New York City-based artist BeBe Zahara Benet creates a flawless feminine illusion, delighting audiences all over the world by bringing a bold, beautiful, and entertaining character that honors and respects the feminine persona. “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and winner of season one of LOGO TV’s RuPaul’s Drag Race competition. www.bebezahara.com
BJ Armani’s Cabaret
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 5:00–6:00 p.m.
B.J. Armani has been a drag king for over a decade. No show is too small and no task has been too great with the amazing family of performers and behind-the-scenes crew that has made B.J. Armani’s Cabaret so successful.
Beer Garden | June 25 | 12:00–3:00 p.m.
BlakLite are local Twin Cities DJs who bring the latest sounds in house and underground music. www.blaklite.net/about.asp
Brian Justin Crum
Loring Stage | June 24 | Pride in Concert | 8:00 p.m.
Brian Justin Crum was a huge breakout star from the most recent season of America’s Got Talent, making it to the most competitive finals the show has ever seen. From his viral rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and “Creep” to his show-stopping “Man in the Mirror” Brian wowed the competition week after week. www.brianjustincrum.com
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 3:00–3:30 p.m.
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 1:15–2:00 p.m.
Politically fatigued sad-pop from Minneapolis, from Nicky of Lunch Duchess and BOYF. www.facebook.com/citycounselor
Loring Stage | June 25 | 3:30–4:00 p.m.
Pop. Music. Is. Life. Inspired by a lifelong obsession with pop music, DENNIS is a DIY Britney Spears-meets-Grimes electronic pop band based in Minneapolis. www.dennismpls.bandcamp.com
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Divas is the only all-live singing drag/burlesque show in town, featuring some of the most talented entertainers the Twin Cities have to offer as well as an open mic for any singer, musician, or live performance artist to show their stuff. Hosted by the Broadway baby herself, Martina Marraccino!
DJ Jake Rudh
Beer Garden | June 25 | 3:00–6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis DJ and host on 89.3 the Current, Jake Rudh was voted Best DJ in the Twin Cities by the readers of City Pages magazine 10 straight years (2003-2012) and one of Star Tribune‘s Artists of the Year (2012). www.transmission-music.com
DJ Mickey Breeze
Power to the People Stage | June 24 & 25 | 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Beer Garden | June 24 | 12:00–3:00 p.m.
DJ Shiek resides in Minneapolis and plays at the most prominent gay clubs in the Midwest. Playing with DJs such as Alexander, David Knapp, Kimberly S, and Kaskade, her beats are highly ranked both as a DJ and producer amongst the best.
Dom Giovon aka Li’l One
Loring Stage | June 24 | 4:15–4:45 p.m.
Dom Giovon aka Lil’ One is a singer/rapper/model/trans activist/entertainer the list goes on. www.facebook.com/LilOne-351527114871227
Dragged Out (Town House)
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Dragged Out has the most diverse cast of performers in the Midwest. Within the cast, members have performed in the Twin Cites, the Midwest, and other parts of the nation. No matter how far out they go, the Town House Bar is their home! www.facebook.com/Dragged.Out.MN/
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Victoria DeVille is the show director and the main cast features Monica West, Roxy Marquis, Genevee Ramona Love, Kamaree Williams, Bad Karma, Laydee Swallows, and Nocturna Lee Mission. #Drag Revolution makes it part of their mission we to revamp the drag scene in Minneapolis.
Power to the People Stage | June 24 | 12:00–12:45 p.m.
Dream B has been putting on for Minneapolis and the LGBTQ community her raunchy lyrics and catchy hooks since 2004. She will be a great asset to the 2017 Twin Cities Pride Festival performing her latest music in order from oldest to new. www.facebook.com/therealdrealdreamb
Loring Stage | June 24 | Pride in Concert | 8:30 p.m.
En Vogue has never been afraid to break the mold and step outside the norm. From “Free Your Mind” to “Whatta Man” they have been trendsetters in music and style. Today, affectionately known as the “original funky divas,” they are redefining the idea of beauty and what it means beyond the traditional sense with their distinctive fusion of music and style. www.envoguemusic.com
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 3:30–4:00 p.m.
FLOWTUS is a Twin Cities-based band consisting of Angie Lynch, Katya Weinstine, Janani Logendran, and Melissa Tangye. They draw their influences from a plethora of genres that range from blues, country, punk, and folk. www.facebook.com/FLOWTUSBAND
Freedom Jazz Band
Loring Stage | June 24 | 2:30–3:15 p.m.
The Freedom Jazz! is an ensemble of the Minnesota Freedom Band. It is a 20-piece LGBTQA jazz/swing band in the Minneapolis/Twin Cities area featuring an assortment of classic big band-style swing, jazz, and rock music. www.mnfreedomband.org/freedom-jazz
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Proud from the Cloud is a group of performers who live in, hail from, or are crowd favorites in St. Cloud, Minnesota! These performers can be found on stage with the cast of Fusion Cabaret (St. Cloud’s only professional drag troop).
Loring Stage | June 24 | 12:00–12:30 p.m.
Music and love are fickle things. With the November 26 release of their new album, The Tears, Twin Cities-based soul singer g’Beau and his eponymous band attempt to tame both with an expanded and expansive backing band and tracks probing the spaces between people. www.dakotacooks.com/artist/gbeau
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 4:00–5:00 p.m.
“Boylesque” is a parody, a comically exaggerated imitation, that features the age-old art of the striptease. Come enjoy their special brand of song, dance, glitter, glam, and muscle.
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 4:00–6:00 p.m.
GLITCH promotes the exploration of digital games as a culture, career, and creative practice. We’ll be doing a live Let’s Play on stage. Our Let’s Play will bring LGBTQA+ members of GLITCH’s community to the Pride stage where they provide entertaining and insightful game commentary, as well as some witty banter and a dash of information about the local games community. www.glitch.mn
Gosh Alice Jones
Loring Stage | June 24 | 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Miss North Star Gay Rodeo Association 2017 Gosh Alice Jones is excited to join Twin Cities Pride. She has passion for Pride and is the annual hostess at Rochester Pridefest and Mankato Pridefest. She believes unconditional love and self-acceptance can change the world one person at a time. www.goshalicejones.com
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 2:00–3:00 p.m.
The Imperial Court of Minnesota is a local chapter of an international organization whose focus is to build a better community through volunteer work and community outreach with an emphasis on fundraising. www.impcourtmn.com
Loring Stage | June 25 | 5:15–6:00 p.m.
Jamecia Bennett is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter. Jamecia’s style of music is soul, R&B, pop, blues, and rock blended together with her powerful range that shakes the walls and blows of the roof! www.soundsofblackness.org/jamecia-bennett
Loring Stage | June 24 | 1:30–2:15 p.m.
Junebug fuses together the best of all worlds to create a groovy sound that is uniquely their own, drawing on many influences from numerous genres including psychedelic, funk, grunge, classic rock, reggae, and even country. www.junebugmusic.com
Kasano and the Vybes
Loring Stage | June 25 | 12:00–12:45 p.m.
Kasano (pronounced KA-SÁ-NO) infuses stage presence with fluidity, power, and a promise of taking no moment for granted, taking the performance to another level. The Vybes came on in 2016 and together the group has been perfecting a stage show that is sure to make you get on out of your seats. www.kasanomusic.com
Katana Da Don
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 2:00–2:45 p.m.
Katana Da Don is releasing her most eclectic album to date: Kut Throat. A mixture of alternative rock, hip hop, and R&B, she produced the majority of the material. With her latest video “Snow” — a hardcore hip hop tongue twister — being premiered by two local publications in the same week (City Pages, The Local Current), Katana Da Don is showing her range as an artist and is on her way to being the first female music mogul. www.katanadadon.com
Ladies of La Femme
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 1:00–2:00 p.m.
The Ladies of LaFemme Drag Show at the Gay 90’s has been one of the longest-running continuous female impersonation shows in the United States, since 1964! The legacy of all that have graced the stage at the Gay 90’s Nightclub continues today!
Loring Stage | June 24 | 5:00–5:30 p.m.
Lady Lark is a local Minneapolis artist reviving a sound that echoes 20 years of pop, soul, and funk music. 89.3 The Current has called her “a pop/soul star to be” with “that ’90s R&B heat.” www.theladylark.com
Loring Stage | Pride in Concert | June 24 | 7:00 p.m.
Dubbed “Queen of Electro,” Luciana has stood at the forefront of the electro nu-wave movement with a supercharged sound that has infiltrated dance floors across the globe, particularly the United States where she consistently rises to the top of the Billboard/Beatport charts.
Stonewall Stage | June 25 | 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Bearded ladies, lithesome men, sensual non-binaries. Shimmies, peels, and tassels. Mugs, beat-downs, and stomps. A night of burlesque, drag, variety, and sideshow! https://www.facebook.com/pg/MadShawMenagerie
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 2:45–3: 15 p.m.
Mae Simpson is a singer/songwriter from south California who captures emotions and transforms them into words. The soul in the blues Mae sings with the Janis Joplin passion: “Everything can be had, you just have to want and feel it enough.” www.facebook.com/MaeSimpsonMusic
Stonewall Stage | June 24 & 25 | 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Martina is an entertainer at the Gay 90’s, the producer and director at The Lady Martina Sings, and director at GLAM! Boylesque at the Gay 90s. www.facebook.com/martinamarraccino
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 3:30–4:00 p.m.
Melody Mendis is an inspired and versatile vocalist, voice instructor, and voiceover actress. Mendis performs a tremendous range of music including jazz, R&B, pop, blues, and international songs. She effortlessly soars through her entire range and belts with extreme athleticism. www.melodymendis.com
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 3:15–4:00 p.m.
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1971 on a 22-acre field in Jonathan, Minnesota. More than 25,000 people visited the two-weekend grand opening of the festival then named “A Celebration of Nature, Art, and Life!” That celebration has since relocated to Shakopee and has grown to be the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States with an annual attendance of 300,000. www.renaissancefest.com
New Black City
Loring Stage | June 25 | 4:15–4:45 p.m.
Created right here in our very own backyard we have New Black City. The newest, hottest hip hop dance and battle team to emerge from the Twin Cities. www.facebook.com/NewBCity
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 12:00–12:45 p.m.
NightStones are a five-piece alternative rock group consisting of teenagers from Minneapolis. They just released their first EP in February of 2017, and are excited to perform at the Twin Cities Pride Festival. www.nightstones.bandzoogle.com
Old Desert Road
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 2:00–2:30 p.m.
Old Desert Road is an indie/folk-rock band from Minneapolis. Formed in 2013, Rob Phillips (vocals/guitar), Jennifer Peterson (violin/vocals), and Zach Anderson (bass/vocals) make up the trio. Robb Lauer is the newest member to join the band, bringing percussion back to the mix. www.olddesertroad.bandcamp.com
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 12:00–12:30 p.m.
Preston Gunderson is a singer-songwriter based out of Minneapolis. With his powerful voice, catchy melodies, and emotive lyrics, his sophomore record The Recluse peaked at #25 in the world on the iTunes Singer Songwriter charts. When he’s not touring, Preston is working with local nonprofit Youth Frontiers, using his music to help enhance students’ social and emotional learning. www.prestongunderson.com
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Ragtag Drag is northern Minnesota’s premiere drag troupe. This multicultural cast of up-and-coming kings and queens is dedicated to serving the community and spreading acceptance and cultural knowledge. www.facebook.com/Ragtagdrag
Loring Stage | June 24 | Pride in Concert | 6:00 p.m.
Established in 2011, Rebel Queens is a high-energy hard-hitting all-female rock band based in Minneapolis. Traditionally regarded as a cover band, the Rebel Queens have curated an action-packed three-hour live show of classic rock with the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett, and KISS with some killer original tunes along the way. The single “Waiting Up For You” from their new EP has been featured on 89.3 The Current.
Stonewall Stage | June 24 | 3:00–3:30 p.m.
NSGRA Tent | June 25 | 1:00–1:45 & 3:00–3:45 p.m.
The Minneapolis-based Saddle Sores play classic country music from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. This classic country cover band is a dance community favorite and a multi-generational crowd pleaser. www.saddlesoresband.com
Loring Stage | June 25 | 2:45–3:15 p.m.
Minneapolis-based Sawyer’s Dream is an all-original pop/rock band. Sawyer’s Dream offers listeners a modern take on classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s. Lyrically, the songs will take you back to a time of dreams, nature, and human kindness. www.sawyersdream.com
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 12:45–1:15 p.m.
Shannon Murray is a folk/punk musician and storyteller from the north woods of Minnesota. She has been making folk a threat again since 2001, tackling guitar playing and songcraft like it’s a contact sport with music that is intensely political and deeply personal. www.shannonmurray.bandcamp.com
Power to the People Stage | June 24 & 25 | 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Quinn Villagomez, a.k.a. SHIMMER, is a true Minnesotan, born and raised right here in the Twin Cities area. Quinn identifies as a Hispanic woman of color and a transgender woman. Most recently Quinn joined KFAI Radio as a co-host for “Fresh Fruit” with RARE Productions on KFAI Radio. Quinn co-hosts alongside Roxanne Anderson every second Thursday each month.
Rainbow Stage | June 25 | 12:45–1:15 p.m.
Formed in 2015, Snailmate quickly managed to escape the oppressive hellscape that is Phoenix, Arizona and is now on a perpetual tour across the world. Snailmate’s music is a colorful blend of disparate sounds. With a work ethic that could be described as “psychotic.” www.snailmate.com
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 3:00–3:30 p.m.
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 4:00–5:00 p.m.
Sweetpea & The Vigilantease Collective
Loring Stage | June 24 | Pride in Concert | 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Burlesque, drag, singers, dancers, DJs, and more, Sweetpea & The Vigilantease Collective bring talent, passion, and ethics together to make art on their own terms. Sensual, strong, politically charged, community-supportive, fully expressed, gender- and sexuality-fluid performances encourage change and activism through sexy, fierce, and fun entertainment. www.thesweetpea.com and www.facebook.com/Vigilantease
The Belfast Cowboys
Loring Stage | June 25 | 2:00–2:30 p.m.
The Belfast Cowboys is a nine-piece, horn-driven band that specializes in the music of Van Morrison, along with original songs and other assorted rock covers. The band features several veterans of the Minneapolis music scene, including singer Terry Walsh and sax man Vic Volare. www.belfastcowboys.com
The Big Fat Comedy Hour
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 4:15–6:00 p.m.
With Sarah McPeck, a lesbian comic, improv teacher, and recipient of Lavender Magazine’s 2014 Community Involvement Award, The Big Fat Comedy Hour is making its debut Pride appearance this year. Get ready to be wowed by veteran comedians, fabulous drag performances, and an audience-inspired car dancing competition! www.sarahmcpeck.com
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 12:00–12:30 p.m.
The Common Ground Company
Rainbow Stage | June 24 | 1:30–2:00 p.m.
The Common Ground Company’s unique blend of bluegrass, Americana, and folk has been rocking the Twin Cities since the fall of 2015. Their honest songwriting, three-part harmonies, and tasteful instrumental breaks keep the crowd tuned in and singing along. www.thecommongroundcompany.com
Beer Garden | June 24 | 3:00–6:00 p.m.
[Theølogy] encompasses the musical styles of Matthew J. Bentley. Beauty, emotion, and Intelligence are the three main aims of his sets. You’ll hear things you know very well, and you’ll also hear things you don’t know very well, but the goal of this up-and-coming DJ/Producer is the same: make everybody love their life as they rid themselves of every amount of stress they have on the dance floor. www.artistecard.com/Theology
The Roxxy Hall Band
Loring Stage | June 25 | 1:00–1:45 p.m.
The Roxxy Hall Band has been playing rock-n-soul in Minneapolis and St. Paul for 25 years. They lay down a solid groove, sing five-part harmonies, and have a smokin’ horn section. www.roxxyhallband.com
The Von Tramps
Loring Stage | June 24 | 3:30–4:00 p.m.
The Von Tramps is an original rock band formed in the ice-cold streets of St. Paul. The group is fronted by guitarist Chelsea Oxborough and guitarist/vocalist Jenna Enemy. The Von Tramps has a healthy blend of energetic irreverent punk rock, slapstick/sludgy Ramones-esk humor, and a certain flair for the dramatic. www.facebook.com/TheVonTramps
Power to the People Stage | June 24 | 1:00–1:45 p.m.
Named after the spunky lead singer, Timothy Dooley, Timisarocker was formed as a four-piece rock band from St. Paul in 2014. With music that advocates for equality and mental health awareness, Timisarocker continuously aims to generate a sense of community among the divided millennial generation. www.timisarocker.com
UNL Drill Team
Power to the People Stage | June 25 | 3:00–3:45 p.m.
UNL Drum and Dance was founded in 2005 under the direction of Mr. Stephan Graham. UNL is now under the direction of Deondrea Cole and is a community-based youth group with the motto “Making unlimited possibilities in moving youth to the next level in their lives and communities.”