Press Release - A TRIBUTE TO BILLY HALLQUIST - 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 20, 2015
A TRIBUTE TO BILLY HALLQUIST
A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN
Saturday, August 1, 2015
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Veterans' Memorial Amphitheater, Wolfe Park
3700 Monterey Drive
St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55416
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Town Green Amphitheater
7991 Main St. N
Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369
For the seventh year, some of the Twin Cities’ top musicians will gather for free outdoor concerts featuring the music of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and Minnesota native Bob Dylan. Each year’s events have evolved and grown, and this year is no different.
In 1974 Bob Dylan recorded his seminal album “Blood on the Tracks” in New York and then re-recorded five tracks in Minneapolis using local musicians. The story of the making of “Blood on the Tracks” is told in the book A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of “Blood on the Tracks” by Andy Gill and Kevin Odegard. The Minneapolis musicians first reunited at Dylan’s 60th birthday celebration at First Avenue in 2000 and a sold-out performance at the Pantages Theater in 2004. In 2005 the studio band was inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame.
In 2009 Odegard organized the first free “Blood on the Tracks Live” event in St. Louis Park, featuring several of the members of the band performing songs from the album. Throughout the years numerous local musicians have joined "the family," giving the show a constantly changing look and sound. The band has evolved into a Dylan tribute band, not restricting songs to any one album. The Maple Grove venue was added in 2011.
Each year these shows were phenomenally successful, drawing up to 6,000. In 2012 Odegard handed the organizational reins to longtime friend and fellow musician Billy Hallquist, it was also the last year that Odegard, the last remaining member of the Blood on the Tracks band to be involved, left the group, and the event was renamed “Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan” in 2013. The 2014 event featured violinist Scarlet Rivera, who toured with Dylan and appeared on several tracks, spectacularly notable on “Hurricane.” This year will feature a classic lineup of some of Bob's best known songs to celebrate 15 years of honoring these uncredited but extremely talented musicians.
GUITARS FOR VETS
In 2010 the show began to raise support and awareness of Guitars for Vets, a national organization dedicated to serving veterans who face challenges due to post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Participants receive basic music instruction and, upon completion of the program, a guitar of their own. Cash donations and guitars are collected at the concerts for the G4V organization, and G4V merchandise is for sale as well. Information about this organization can be found at guitarsforvets.org. Over the years many thousands of dollars have been collected at the Dylan tribute concerts for G4V.
A TRIBUTE TO BILLY HALLQUIST
After a brief set of songs by Jeff Dayton, this year’s shows will begin with performances of original songs written by Billy Hallquist. Hallquist has acted as organizer, bandleader, publicist, guitarist, and singer at these shows, and is the glue that holds them together. In late 2014 he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and braced for a second fight for his life, having survived polio as a child. Even while undergoing chemotherapy, he continued to organize the 2015 summer concerts, including two additional concerts featuring “Minnesota Legends” groups Jokers Wild, Thundertree, and the Litter. A fund has been set up to offset some of Billy’s medical expenses, and donations will be accepted at the Dylan concerts. Billy is a much-loved fixture in the Minnesota musical community; he was a member of Thundertree and the K.O. Band, and has put out two of his own albums, “Persephone” and “Travelin’.” His son Dan is the producer of the 2015 Dylan concerts, and Kevin Odegard is back in the lineup.
The core band, consisting of Billy Hallquist, Kevin Odegard, Gary Lopac, Jeff Dayton, Bobby ‘Z’ Rivkin, Scott Sansby, Lonnie Knight, Jim Steinworth, Aaron Ollswang, and Mark Lamoine will be joined by Stan Kipper, Chico Perez, Matt Fink, Patty Peterson, Mary Jane Alm, Ralph Dacut, Kenny Krona, Dan Israel, Steve Grossman, Barbara Meyer, James Loney with Edie Rae and Colleen O, Barry Thomas Goldberg, Arne Fogel, John Pattison, Patrick Nettesheim and Courtney Yasmineh. Master of Ceremonies is “Magic” Marc Percansky.
Maple Grove: Parking is available on Main Street, at the Library parking lot, the Government Center, or Community Center
St. Louis Park: Please park at The Rec Center parking lot or the free lots at Excelsior and Grand. Performance may be canceled in case of inclement weather; please call (952) 924-2567 if weather appears questionable.
Follow "Billy Hallquist Fans" and "Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan" pages on Facebook.