Brown Paper Tickets - Icehouse MPLS
Minneapolis, MN
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" the music exploded, showering the room with a joyful exuberance usually reserved for dance halls and gospel services. And no one had more fun than Jay Young" -Andrea Canter, Jazz Police

Jay Young and the Lyric Factory features:
Jay Young, bass
Thom West, piano
Ian Young, bass
Kevin Washington, drums
Ernest Bisong, violin
Sarah M. Greer, vocals
Libby Turner-Opanga, vocals
Michelle Denise Michaels, vocals

Bassist Jay Young has been widely acknowledged as a virtuosic sideman for such stars as Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Moore by Four and more, but his outings as bandleader have been less frequent if equally compelling. With McNally Smith colleague, iron-fisted drummed Kevin Washington and savvy
vocalist , as well as keyboard dynamo Thom West, rising star bassist Ian Young, virtuoso violinist Ernest Bisong, and talented vocalists Sarah Greer, Michele Denise Michaels,and, Libby Turner, Young leads a tribute to Herbie Hancock, and Earth, Wind and Fire at the Dakota. This high-energy show will keep you on the edge of your ears.

Jay Young is a freelance performer and educator involved in a vast array of projects, working with national and international artists. He has performed at the Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center, Illusion, and Penumbra Theatre, and has been a featured performer at Lincoln Center, Juilliard, Boston Symphony Hall, The Blue Note, and festivals in Umbria (Italy), Espoo (Finland), and Tejo (Portugal). He has shared the stage with Ray Brown, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, T.S. Monk, Grover Washington Jr., Dave Brubeck, Ron Carter, Buster Williams, Bobby Lyle, Eddie Daniels, the Minnesota Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Phil Upchurch, Jennifer Holiday, Harry Connick Jr., Jay Leno, PaulBollenbeck, Reverend Al Green, Bobby McFerrin, Jefferson Starship, Carole King, Ray Charles, Kevin Mahogany, Joe Lovano, Ernie Watts, Tim Ries, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, and many others. A founding member of Moore by Four who is often on stage with such area stars as Debbie Duncan and Bruce Henry, Young also devotes significant time to teaching as a faculty bass instructor at McNally Smith College of Music. Over the past few years, Jay has led his LyricFactory ensemble paying tribute to Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock and, of course, Earth, Wind and Fire. For the Dakota gig, Jay will be performing on the piccolo bass, tuned an octave above the standard bass.

Pianist Thom West melds a classical background with training in gospel music. In addition to performing solo as well asaccompanying local jazz vocalists (including the late Roberta Davis, Dennis Spears, Debbie Duncan, ThomasinaPetrus, T.Mychal Rambo, Jamecia Bennett and Lila Ammons), he has played with such national artists as Sammy Davis, Jr. and Doc Severinson; locally he has performed with the Jazz Interpreters. Thom has long devoted himself to education, helping to development, teach and accompany several high school gospel choirs in the Minneapolis Public
Schools; he also has served as music director at SteppingStone Theater.

Bassist Ian Young studied at McNally Smith College of Music, and has played with a wide range of ensembles from jazz to R&B and gospel. His affiliations have included The New Congress, MPLS,Ashely Gold, Hustle Rose ,Bruce Henry, Alicia Wiley, Ginger Commodore, Yolande Bruce, Debbie Duncan and, of course, with dad, Jay Young.

Drummer Kevin Washington grew up in Detroit, the son of musicians Faye (flute, voice) and Donald (saxophones) Washington. His mentors included the great Max Roach and Roy Brooks. Moving to New York to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Kevin performed with The Chico Freeman Quartet, Arnie Lawrence, AntonioHart and James Carter. Since relocating to the Twin Cities, Kevin has been burning up one trapset after another, playing with his own ensembles and with Moveable Feast, Doug Little, Andres Prado, NachitoHerrera and Bruce Henry,as well as Jay Young. Heâ€s also a busy educator, teaching at McNally Smith College of Music and the Twin Cities Jazz

Ernest Bisong also known as Ernythang! is arguably Nigeria's best violinist.  Emythang's control of the violin is phenomenal. This has endeared him to musicians and enthusiasts alike. He has performed as a multi-genre violinist in the United States of America, as well as parts of East Africa.

As a violin Guru, he has worked with some of  Nigeria's best Producers and Artistes such as Cobhams, Wole Oni, Asa, Bez, Mode 9, to mention a few. Early this year, he featured in a Nollywood movie starring Ashionye and Dakore titled 'Journey to Self'. He is currently recording a joint hip-hop album with IBK a.k.a spaceshipboi

Sarah M. Greer is a vocalist, improviser and instructor who combines vocal improvisation, education and performance. She has studied for nearly a decade with master improviser Rhiannon as well as studying improvisation in the US, Canada and in Europe. She loves performing and co-creating with other singers and instrumentalists. Here in the Twin Cities, Sarah leads Spices (a women's a Capella ensemble), has been a member of Jay Young's Lyric Factory, teaches voice at MCTC, has served the Twin Cities Jazz Festival as production manager, and holds monthly Songtaneous sessions "where singers gather to share their work.

Libby Turner-Opanga's vocal artistry can be found on albums by Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Ann Nesby, Karyn White, Esera Tuaolo and Barry White, as well as over two dozen independent recording projects. During her 10 years as a member of the Grammy Award winning ensemble Sounds of Blackness, she appeared at high profile venues and festivals worldwide, and performed on nearly every major stage in the United States, including the White House, Kennedy Center, the Today Show, the Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, BBC1, Great Performances and MTV.
A native New Yorker, Michele Denise Michaels grew up singing with her brother and sister in one of the first Catholic gospel choirs in the nation. Michele also sang in the performing arts program of her high school. It was never Michele's goal to be a solo artist. Her parents always encouraged their children to stay together and that was Michele's plan. So in the 90s, she invited her sister and brother and four other friends to join her in the McDonald's Gospel Fest competition. To her astonishment, the newly formed septet reached the semi-finals and Simply Mystique's star was launched. A few years later as the members of Simply Mystique went their separate ways, Michele built on the group's success and began working as a background and studio session singer in London. After returning from London, Michele moved to Minneapolis for blindness training at Blind Incorporated. With her training complete and her newly earned long white cane in hand, Michele pursued dual degrees in performance and music business. A busy student, Michele still performed regularly, debuting as a featured vocalist at the acclaimed Guthrie Theater.


Icehouse (View)
2528 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
United States



Minimum Age: 21
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!