On Wed, Jul 26, Northrop presents Mary Jane Alm and her award-winning band as part of the Music on the Plaza series. They will take the audience on a journey through time, performing songs that made her a household name in the Midwest, as well as previously unreleased songs spanning three decades. Here’s a look at the band’s highlights:
Twin Cities-based singer/songwriter, musician, and music educator Mary Jane Alm has been a mainstay in the Midwest music scene since the early 80s. With her “golden vocal chords” and “disarming sincerity” (Pioneer Press), Alm has tackled a wide array of genres such as classical, jazz, and punk, yet her career revolves primarily around the combination of country, folk, blues, and rock. Aside from her various local performances, she also has performed all over the world and has released two albums, Prisoner of the Heart (1985) and Me and the Wild Blue (2011).
Much of Alm’s musical ability stemmed from her experience with piano and flute, with inspiration from her parents’ stereo music (Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra), as well as the music of singer/songwriters like James Taylor and Jackson Browne. After picking up the acoustic guitar towards the end of high school, Alm started her journey playing solo gigs at clubs around Mankato. Later, she joined in on local bands including “City Mouse” and eventually formed her own group, The Mary Jane Alm Band, which has gone on to open shows for countless national acts.
Alm has been honored with many awards over the years, including “Best Female Vocalist” and “Artist of the Year” by Minnesota Music Awards, and is a recent inductee into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2013 (past inductees include Bob Dylan, Prince, The Trashmen, and Judy Garland). She has recorded at the famous Paisley Park and her latest album, Me and the Wild Blue, was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Grammy Award winner, Steve Hodge, who has worked with Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Shaggy. Additionally, Alm has written many jingles for clients such as Dairy Queen, McDonald's and General Mills and now teaches music theory and vocal techniques at The Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis.