Hailing from Boston, The Parkway is pleased to present the Twin Cities debut of iconic roots rock band, the Adam Ezra Group.
It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin’ essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: community.
Community is epitomized by a belief that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
For their most recent release, Hurricane Wind (2017), the Adam Ezra Group (AEG) fanbase turned the full power of its collective hurricane wind outward, and shared the music for free with over 5000 people over the course of two weeks. Such a groundswell of activity wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago; Hurricane Wind, to AEG, represents both a celebration and reaffirmation of how remarkably that community has grown.
A tireless touring outfit, the Adam Ezra Group is constantly on the road, often devoting their time to local charities and always going out of their way to connect with fans. They are creating a powerful, inclusive community around AEG shows that is beginning to be compared to a social-movement as much as a traditional music fan-base. It’s this dedication to fans that inspired the annual “Get Folked Concert Tour” in which Ezra ventures solo/acoustic to the homes of at least 40 fans in as many days and almost as many states to play house concerts throughout January and February.
Ezra started his own non-profit organization called RallySound to better support fans and activists dedicated to making the world a better place. The proceeds from the video for the single “Let Your Hair Down” are being donated toward micro-grants for cancer patients struggling to make ends meet while in treatment.
AEG’s grassroots efforts recently caught the eye of John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame. For the past few years, Ezra and Oates have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between tours. Three of their co-writes are featured on Hurricane Wind, and Oates himself joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the album. They performed their first co-written song, “All I Am,“ live in-studio as an acoustic duet.
Even amid ballooning success, Ezra says it’s been not just easy, but natural for AEG to stay dedicated to its mission and true to its humble roots. Perhaps no song sums this up more than a fan favorite, selected to anchor the new album. Called "I Believe," it’s a gorgeously layered, nakedly emotional ode to the long path they’ve already traveled as a community – and to the wide-open road ahead.
Olivia Diercks and Karla Colahan, cellist and violinist of the new-classical crossover duo, The OK Factor, have one word to describe their musical connection: lucky. Organic and genuine, their original compositions feel both comfortingly familiar and uniquely fresh, and have been described as "genre-bending" (Julie Amacher, MPR) and "pure magic" (Wausau Pilot & Review). The ease with which they write and perform has caught the attention of the Minnesota music community in which they live and work, bringing them success on stages such as The Cedar Cultural Center and as frequent featured artists with Minnesota Public Radio. Their distinct compositional and performance style awarded them the honor of being finalists for the prestigious McKnight Fellowships for Musicians in 2018.
Within their six years of writing, performing, and regional touring, The OK Factor has been in residence with Minnesota Public Radio's Class Notes Artists program ('16), at The Grand Theater in Wausau ('17), College of Saint Benedict ('17) and Luther College ('18), sharing their intimate performances, outreach activities, and educational workshops with these communities. Their passion for education has taken them across the United States to conduct workshops with students, and has led to their new education initiative, ATLAS (launching August of 2018). Combining their love of folk music and their investment in young students, ATLAS houses teacher lesson plans, student study guides and leadership opportunities, inviting students to use their instruments as vehicles for creative and innovative musical thinking. Taking this learning one step further, ATLAS is also home to The OK Factor's transcriptions, including duo and quartet arrangements of their original music for both intermediate and advanced students.
Olivia and Karla are also sought-after collaborators, having partnered with numerous Minnesota composers and musicians including singer-songwriters Ellis Delaney and Lynn O'Brien, percussionists Jenny Klukken and Krissy Bergmark, and composer Mischa Santora, among others. They have appeared as opening acts for Charlie Parr, The High Kings, and Swedish quintet Jaerv, as well as composers-in-residence for digital music library Black Label Music. The OK Factor has produced three studio albums of their original music and arrangements: Water Street ('14), That's Enough of That ('16), and Have Yourself an OK Christmas ('17).