National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage To Present Unplugged X: The Northern Harvest

Premiere music event takes center stage at North House Folk School’s tenth-annual celebration

Ten years ago, Minneapolis-born and Grammy award-winning songwriter Jon Vezner had a vision to nurture the success of an aspiring non-profit called North House Folks School in Grand Marais. As a result, Unplugged: The Northern Harvest was born as an educational endowment fundraiser that has since become a vibrant, multi-dimensional weekend event celebrating music, craft and community, with this year’s event taking place September 15-18 on the shores of Lake Superior in Cook County.

The tenth anniversary of this premier music event will be celebrated in a big way, beginning with a Minnesota music first: the National Public Radio show Mountain Stage will present and record two shows during the event in Grand Marais. Mountain Stage is a dynamic and long-running radio show featuring live music in the folk, roots and Americana traditions. Produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the show is distributed by NPR and enjoys a large and loyal worldwide audience. Joining Vezner to perform over the weekend are inspiring singer/songwriters Kathy Mattea, Lindsay Mac, Michael Johnson and Tim O’Brien, plus a special appearance and presentation by celebrated guitar-maker James A. Olson. Artists such as Sting, Justin Hayward, David Crosby and Paul McCartney have used Olson’s guitars, and James Taylor is said not to play anything else.

“Mountain Stage is very excited to be a part of the tenth anniversary celebration of the North House Folk School’s music offerings,” said Mountain Stage host Larry Groce. “The integrity of the North House Folk School is well established, the site is one of the most beautiful spots in North America and the songwriter-in-the-round series, under the artistic direction of our friend (and very successful songwriter) Jon Vezner, has been superb. We look forward to recording two shows in Grand Marais this September.”

“Mountain Stage’s involvement with Unplugged X is a fitting affirmation of Jon Vezner’s vision to nurture the success of a young and aspiring non-profit called North House,” said North House Executive Director Greg Wright. “Mountain Stage’s passion for the craft of music and the arts meshes perfectly with North House and helps draw attention to the region’s rich tradition of the arts.”

Known as a cultural gem of the North Shore and a haven for the education of traditional northern craft, North House Folk School draws 120 regional artisans and crafts-people that lead 350+ courses at the school each year. In 2009, students came from 36 states and three foreign countries to experience methods and technologies for creating traditional crafts – from fiber arts and blacksmithing to wood-fired baking to boatbuilding.

Concert tickets for all three Unplugged concerts range from $20.00 to $50.00 and may be purchased by visiting www.northhouse.org or by calling 218-387-9762. Additional information and registration for North House Folk School classes and special events also is available at www.northhouse.org. Sponsors include The Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts Tour Minnesota Program, Iron Range Resources Culture and Tourism Program and the Cook County Visitors Bureau.

About North House Folks School

North House Folk School is an independent educational nonprofit committed to enriching lives and building community by teaching traditional northern crafts in a student-centered learning environment that inspires the hands, the heart and the mind. During 2007, North House served more than 1300 students through hands-on coursework and 12,000 people participated in North House’s educational programs. With 135 instructors and 350 learning opportunities, courses and programs are offered at North House throughout the year.  Call 218-387-9762 for a free course catalog. Additional information is available at www.northhouse.org.

About Cook County Visitors Bureau

Formed in May 2010 through the merger of The Cook County Events and Visitors Bureau, Grand Marais Area Tourism Association, Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association, Gunflint Trail Association, Grand Portage Tourism, and Lutsen Mountains Corporation, the Cook County Visitors Bureau (CCVB) is a tourism organization dedicated to economic development and maintaining the vitality of Minnesota’s North Shore and the Gunflint Trail. For more information, visit www.donorth.mn.

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Jodi Petrich jodi@marketingmatters-mn.com 612-868-7541