Benefit for Dean Magraw this Sunday

Benefit for Dean Magraw this Sunday
Photo by Manfred Pollert

Local guitarist Dean Magraw--an immensely talented musician who has participated in seemingly every facet of the local scene from jam bands to A Prairie Home Companion--has recently had to stop performing as he undergoes bone marrow transplant surgery in his ongoing battle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Those who are even marginally familiar with Magraw know him as a highly skilled technical guitarist and composer, and a glace at some of his collaborations speaks to his ability to adapt to a myriad styles and genres, including his experimental jam band Eight Head, Japanese shamisen prodigy Nitta Masahiro, classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, South Indian vocalist and vina virtuoso Nirmala Rajasheker, epic songstress and storyteller Ruth MacKenzie, Irish supergroup Altan, radio and film celebrity Garrison Keillor, and jazz bassist Anthony Cox.

A series of benefits have been put together to raise money for Magraw's living expenses while he is sick, the first of which is this Sunday at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul. The suggested donation for the benefit is $15, and runs from noon until 10 p.m. Sunday. Attendees will be treated to a wide range of talent, including some of Magraw's music collaborators:

* 12:00-12:30 - Dakota Dave Hull
    * 12:30-1:00 - Eastside
    * 1:15-1:45 - Lehto and Wright
    * 2:00-2:30 - Eric Hohn & Blair Krivanek
    * 2:45-3:15 - Axis Mundi
    * 3:30-4:00 - The Petersons
    * 4:15-4:30 - Tim Sparks
    * 4:30-4:45 - Elgin Foster
    * 5:00-5:15 - Nirmala Rajesakar & Marcus Wise
    * 5:15-5:30 - Marcus Wise & Mike Salovich
    * 5:45-6:15 - Laura Mackenzie & Dáithí Sproule
    * 6:30-7:00 - Marc Anderson, JT Bates & Jim Anton
    * 7:15-7:45 - Café Accordion Orchestra, Diane Jarvi
    * 8:00-8:30 - Greg Herriges Trio
    * 8:45-9:15 - Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard
    * 9:30-10:00 - Boiled In Lead

There will also be a silent auction with items ranging from passes to the Winnipeg Folk Festival to photographs, artwork, gift certificates, and CDs.

In addition to Sunday's benefit, Magraw's friends have organized a variety of upcoming events to raise money for the ailing musician. Here's a quick rundown of the other benefit shows:

Saturday, September 12
Oak Center General Store
4:30, 6, and 8 p.m.
Featuring: Leslie Ball, Anthony Cox, Marc Anderson, Liz And Tim's square dance band, and more

Sunday, October 11
Artists' Quarter
details TBA

Friday, November 13
Big Wu Benefit for Dean

Wednesday, November 25
State Theater, Zumbrota, MN
7:30 p.m., $25
Featuring: Ann Reed, Cam Waters, Claudia Schmidt, Dan Chouinard,  Dan Newton, Leslie Ball, Marc Anderson, Peter Mayer, Prudence Johnson, and Vicky Emerson.

For more information on Dean's condition and upcoming shows, visit

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