Andrew Bird

Classically trained violinist, virulently eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter Andrew Bird ranks high among the most intriguing and unpredictable artists on the planet. His impressive body of work runs the gamut of influences from pop to chamber music via jazz and Appalachia. And now for something completely different: solo, all-instrumental violin performances of original material in a "sacred" setting, which locally translates into St. Mark's Cathedral alongside Loring Park. These shows have been dubbed "Gezelligheid Concerts," which may suggest a response to a demonstrative head cold, but is actually a Dutch term approximating "cozy." Bird has said the idea for the Gezelligheids, which are being presented only in Chicago and Minneapolis, came from his childhood seasonal performances of Handel's "Messiah." He's aiming for a similarly "uplifting and comforting" atmosphere to usher in the cold, dark winter. However sketchy that description may be, avid ornithologists quickly snapped up tickets to the first two concerts, and a third has been added. Something interesting is virtually guaranteed, because as Minneapolitans have long known, the Bird is the word. (Photo by Dani Cantó)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Dec. 10. Continues through Dec. 12, 2009

 
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