Minneapolis jazz vocal trio Rio Nido, featuring vocalist Prudence Johnson, will perform at the Festival Theatre Franklin Square Black Box this Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, with shows at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
“This will be our first time hosting Prudence Johnson in our Franklin Square Black Box, and our first time ever with Rio Nido,” said Festival’s co-artistic director Jaclyn Johnson. “She’s always delighted our audiences. She’s so charismatic with pitch perfect vocals — such a dynamic performer. I can’t wait to hear her in this intimate setting.”
Prudence Johnson is no stranger to Festival’s stage, where she has performed several times in the past, most recently in 2015 as the guest artist at Once Upon a River – Festival Theatre’s tribute to Earth Day.
Locals may also recognize the name of Tom Lieberman, another member of Rio Nido: he produced and composed the soundtrack for the award-winning Minnesota-made film “Sweet Land” and was a regular contributor on “A Prairie Home Companion” for many years.
Tim Sparks, the third member of the trio, is a renowned blues guitarist, who has performed with “A Prairie Home Companion” and at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. He was awarded a McKnight Fellowship for his work with John Zorn.
The trio began performing together in the early 1970s at popular Minneapolis jazz swing venues. Their first album, “I Like To Riff,” released on Shadow Records, includes vintage jazz arrangements of favorites by the Boswell Sisters, Al Jolson and Nat King Cole. The group disbanded in 1986, each going his or her own way to pursue successful solo projects.
In December of 2015 at the Dakota in Minneapolis, Rio Nido performed its first gig together in three decades.
Seating is limited in the Franklin Square Black Box so patrons are encouraged to make reservations. Tickets can be purchased at FestivalTheatre.org, by emailing [email protected] or by calling the box office at 715-483-3387.