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Jillian Rae

A series of engagement and outreach events in the Lanesboro area the week of July 8, 2019

Jillian Rae with a violin student in 2015

Returning to the St. Mane Theatre after a memorable 2016 performance, Jillian Rae is an established singer-songwriter, vocalist and fiddle player based in the Twin Cities. A versatile artist, Rae has cultivated a reputation as the go-to violin accompanist for dozens of roots, rock, and Americana bands (including The Okee Dokee Brothers, Corpse Reviver, Adam Levy, and Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings). An Iron Range native based out of Minneapolis, Rae assembled her own band in 2013 that performs a palatable mix of country, bluegrass and pop. Expanding on her upbringing as a classical violinist, Rae’s songwriting is not easily pigeonholed, and neither is her playing. You can find her playing country fiddle on one tune, rock guitar on the next, or driving her violin through synthy guitar effects on another. As engaging as her arrangements can be, the real show stopper of her records or live performances is always her effortlessly powerful voice. When Jillian Rae sings, you believe her.

Rae co-founded and teaches at Music Lab, a music school offering workshops and private lessons to students of all ages. Over the years, she has also taught several master classes, led workshops about the business of being an artist, and is an advocate for the power of creativity to bring people together and overcome barriers. Rae’s flexible and accessible approach to songwriting serves as a catalyst for individuals of any ability in the Lanesboro community to create and learn with confidence. Rae brought those experiences to Lanesboro by participating in a variety of inclusive arts activities throughout town that engaged students, seniors, and musicians & writers of all levels and helped mitigate barriers to participation July 8-13, 2019 as part of the Performing Artist Engagement Program.

In her new full length album “I Can’t Be the One You Want Me to Be,” Rae has pivoted from the country-tinged musical stylings from her 2017 EP, Wanderlust. With contributions from Matt Patrick as well as drummer Alex Young, guitarist and longtime collaborator Eric Martin, and bassist Jimmy Osterholt, the new record is saturated in heavy grooves, moody arrangements, and unflinching honesty. And of course her voice, which has never sounded better, more dynamic, or more true than it does on this collection of songs.

Residency Events

  • Jillian visited the Surprise Sculpture (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.) and Open Studio (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.) sessions on Tuesday, July 9 helping lead artmaking projects while sharing her experiences as a working artist with participants. Learn more about summer education programs at Lanesboro Arts.
  • On Thursday, July 11, Jillian gave a mini-performance at Kenilworth Apartments, following SEMCAC Senior Dining at 11 a.m. Learn more about SEMCAC Senior Dining.
  • Jillian participated in a public Creative Songwriting Workshop at the High Court Loft on Thursday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m.
    • The regular Open Mic Night at High Court Pub took place on Thursday, July 11 following the workshop and Jillian stayedg to share music and stories. Learn more about High Court Pub.
  • Jillian visited the pre-school classroom of 3 – 5 year olds at Lanesboro Child Care Center the morning of Friday, July 12.
  • The “Over the Back Fence” Variety Show featured Jillian as a musical guest, and Jillian performed alongside community members in the show.
    • Those interested in participating attended rehearsals on Tuesday, July 11 at 7 p.m. and Friday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre.
    • The variety show took place Friday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre. Learn more about Over the Back Fence.
  • On Saturday, July 13, Jillian presented a capstone concert in the listening room environment of the St. Mane Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Learn more.

The Performing Artist Engagement Program is made possible by a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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