‘Teen Showcase’ part of GRA’s 14 Fridays concert series, Jan. 20

Some of the musicians who will perform during Great River Arts “Teen Showcase,” Friday, include front row (from left): Sophie Jorgensen, Lucas Burr, Michael Kalpakoff, Aisha Holmberg, Kalli Kalpakoff, Natalie Shanoff and Cary Armagost. Back row: Eric Burr, Max Jorgensen and Will Jorgensen.
Some of the musicians who will perform during Great River Arts “Teen Showcase,” Friday, include front row (from left): Sophie Jorgensen, Lucas Burr, Michael Kalpakoff, Aisha Holmberg, Kalli Kalpakoff, Natalie Shanoff and Cary Armagost. Back row: Eric Burr, Max Jorgensen and Will Jorgensen.

Great River Arts (GRA) will present its “Teen Showcase,” as part of the 14 Fridays Concert Series, Friday, Jan. 20. This special performance will feature some of the most accomplished young musicians in the area including the Flyers Jazz Combo, “Disaster Area,” “Total Monroe” and “Your Friend and Mine.”

From classic jazz to Indie rock and Broadway hits, these four  acts bring a variety of music that everyone can enjoy. Cary Armagost, one of the many performers, said Great River Arts represents a unique venue for showcasing local talent.

“On stage at GRA, you can be yourself in an environment that is comfortable and welcoming,” he said. “When I’m onstage, what you see is what you get – wild and wacky, and you can always tell I’m having fun.

“At GRA, we all want to be there, we all want to perform. It’s nonstop energy and excitement,” he said.

This performance was suggested as an opportunity for these teens to take their performances to the next level in an intimate theatre setting and to share their talent with the community.

Michael Kalpakoff, one of the vocalists in “Your Friend and Mine,” said, “Performing on stage has always been a part of my life, and I’m passionate about it. It is a lot of fun, but it’s something I take seriously.”

The Flyers Jazz Combo is a nine-piece combo that will play classic jazz compositions in Latin, swing and big band styles led by seniors Jordan Waldoch and Tyler Moore.

“Disaster Area” was originally formed at U-Rock Camp at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls in 2014. The group includes Max Jorgensen, 15, Will Jorgensen, 11 and Eric Burr, 15. The band focuses on hard-rockin’ hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

“Total Monroe” is comprised of three musicians who also met at St. Francis Music Center and came together in 2015 to perform classic and modern rock hits as well as unique originals. The band features Cary Armagost, 16, on guitar and vocals, Logan Gerads, 15, on drums and Audrey Thomas, 13, on bass and vocals.

“Your Friend and Mine” formed in mid-2016 to perform at Great River Arts monthly Open Mic Night. The band plays a variety of music, from Indie pop to selections from the musical “Hamilton.” Dubbed a “super group” at Great River Arts, the band’s line-up changes from show to show, featuring as many as a dozen musicians and singers onstage at once.

Friday’s performance will feature Kalli Kalpakoff, 19; Michael Kalpakoff, 17; Aisha Holmberg, 18; Natalie Shanoff, 18 and Matt Wishard, 17, in addition to Lucas Burr, 16, on keyboard, flute and vocals, Cary Armagost of Total Monroe, Max and Will Jorgensen and Eric Burr of Disaster Area.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available in  advance at GRA or at the door on the night of the performance.

The Great River Arts Center is located at 122 SE First St.  in historic downtown Little Falls. It is open Wednesday-Friday, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit www.greatart.org to be notified of other upcoming events.