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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST JAZZ CLUB

Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

No less than jazz pooh-bah Wynton Marsalis recently opined that the Dakota ranks among the top 10 spots in America to hear jazz. He's right. But don't take his word for it. Check out the monthly parade of renowned artists who grace the Dakota's stage and invariably go away singing the club's praises and raring to return. It's pretty much been that way for more than 20 years, first in St. Paul's Bandana Square and for the last few in downtown Minneapolis. There was something about the old venue that didn't quite transfer across the river. But the most important things did: the wonderful intimacy of the place, great sound, one of the best kitchens in town, management that cares passionately about the music, and a lineup of shows that seems to include virtually every contemporary jazz artist of consequence. Just listen to the oohs and aahs every time Lowell Pickett announces the club's upcoming gigs from the stage. And the Dakota's scope has become increasingly broad. Mali kora master Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra made its U.S. debut here. And the stage has hosted a stream of talent from the other end of the Mississippi, from R&B legend Irma Thomas to trad clarinet master Dr. Michael White, to piano dynamo Marcia Ball. Locals get plenty of stage time too, whether it's Connie Evingson swinging the Beatles or steaming with a hot club, or tenor sax icon Irv Williams cultivating his deliciously smooth tone. Throw in community-oriented nuggets like the club's J-Train program for students and you get the idea that Marsalis might only know the half of what goes on here.

Best Jazz Club (2014) Dakota Jazz Club

Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Local) (2013) Prince at Dakota Jazz Club

Best Jazz Club (2012) Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Best Jazz Club (2011) Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Best Jazz Club (2009) Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST JAZZ CLUB (2006) Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING (2010) The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST JAZZ CLUB (2008) Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Best Jazz Club (2017) Dakota Jazz Club

BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER Piper's Crow

BEST ACTOR Ansa Akyea

BEST ACTRESS Tracey Maloney

BEST ALBUM OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Chooglin'

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE The Garage

BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Tom Mischke

BEST ART CINEMA Oak Street Cinema

BEST ART GALLERY Creative Electric Studios

BEST BAND NAME Huge Rat Attacks

BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS The Soviettes

BEST BLUES BAND The Butanes

BEST BLUES BAR Famous Dave's

BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR 900 Miles from Nowere

BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER Roseville 4

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Ananya Chatterjea

BEST CLASSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minnesota Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony

BEST CLUB DJ E-Tones

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) The Plastic Constellations and Tapes 'n Tapes at First Avenue

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) Rakim

BEST CONCERT VENUE Varsity Theater

BEST DANCE CLUB Foundation

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Anytown: Stories of America

BEST DANCER Karen Sherman

BEST DIRECTOR Wendy Knox

BEST FESTIVAL Grand Old Day

BEST FILM Sweet Land

BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Bill DeVille

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST Brother Ali

BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM Redefinition Radio

BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER Emigrant Theater

BEST JAZZ ARTIST Frank Morgan

BEST KARAOKE James Ballentine VFW Post 246

BEST LITERARY JOURNAL Conduit

BEST LIVE ARTIST Dance Band

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COMPILATION Duluth Does Dylan Revisited

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL Afternoon Records

BEST MOVIE THEATER Riverview Theater

BEST MUSEUM Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBIT Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love

BEST MUSIC STORE (CHAIN) Guitar Center

BEST MUSIC STORE (INDEPENDENT) Twin Town Guitars

BEST NEW BAND Mouthful of Bees

BEST OLD BAND Dan Wilson

BEST OPEN MIC BALLS Cabaret

BEST OPERA The Grapes of Wrath

BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL Hymie's Vintage Records

BEST PLACE TO RENT FOREIGN FILMS Cinema Revolution

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS Stevens Square Park

BEST PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM Black Focus

BEST PUBLIC ARTS PROJECT Art Shanty Projects

BEST R&B ARTIST J. Isaac

BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT Radio Riot

BEST RADIO STATION KFAI (90.3/106.7 FM)

BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Mark Mallman and Chuck Klosterman Kill Themselves to Live

BEST ROCK BAND Little Man

BEST ROCK CLUB First Avenue

BEST SINGLE ARTIST SHOW Jaron Childs: Ruptures

BEST SONGWRITER Jeremy Messersmith

BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST Paul Allen

BEST STAGE PRODUCTION Last of the Boys

BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY Brave New Workshop

BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Children's Theatre Company

BEST TV STATION TPT:Channels 2 and 17

BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE) Prudence Johnson

BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Mike Gunther