The February Show!
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
St Mane Theater, 206 Parkway Avenue North, Lanesboro, MN
A wonderful show of all things February (yes, including Valentine's Day! Steve is joined by jazz singer pianist JoAnn Funk and bassist vocalist Jeff Brueske. Enjoy an evening of music and humor! St Mane Website
The Dunsmore Room, 6161 Highway 65 NE, Fridley, MN
Music and laughter! In February! Jazz pianist singer JoAnn Funk brings her unique piano vocal style to this entertaining show. Her style has been compared to Blossom Dearie and Diana Krall but is very much her own. JoAnn is a Twin Cities favorite who most recently performed with Jeff Brueske for Jazz in The Lobby Bar at The Saint Paul Hotel. Her fourth and most recent CD, Jazz in The Lobby Bar, continues to receive international airplay. These days she is traveling and performing - enjoy this rare treat to hear her in the Twin Cities! Baritone Steven Marking will be performing an astonishing range of music, from Schubert, Samuel Barber and Flanders and Swann, to songs from musicals. Steven has over 40 opera roles to his credit. Since his move to the Twin Cities in 2012, he has sung with the Minnesota Chorale, Metropolitan Symphony, performed a role with Minnesota Opera, sung many oratorios, led hymn sings and performed his popular show Our Mighty Mississippi, as well as shows with Jeff and JoAnn. His newest CD, "Holy Chestnuts", is collection of Victorian Era Anthems, recorded with organ and piano at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, where he was the bass baritone soloist for four years. Never one to take himself too seriously, Steve has a comfortable stage presence and is a marvelous storyteller. Bassist and vocalist Jeff Brueske rounds out the talented trio, adding swing and beauty to everything, and also doing some great singing. Jeff might be the most understated musician you will ever meet. He is a choir director, educator, has a master's degree in guitar performance and is also a fine bassist. His vocals are a treat and are reminiscent of John Pizzarelli.
A rare collection of Victorian era religious anthems, sung by baritone Steven Marking, with organ and piano. Many of these gorgeous Victorian anthems rely heavily on operatic tradition; some are gentle and intimate. By fan request -The Lord's Prayer!
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Holy Chestnuts A Stunning Collection of Victorian Era Anthems for Baritone
“What a work of love this album is! The artistry of both Steven and Donald is of the highest order. This latest collaboration shows off their partnership both beautifully and meaningfully.” - Bill Mathis, Music Minister Emeritus Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church Minneapolis, Minnesota
“These anthems fit my voice physically and my spirit emotionally. When I sing them, I combine my operatic tradition with my faith.
The Holy City and Schubert’s Ave Maria have always been near to my heart. As I gathered more songs for this collection, I discovered hidden gems. I was swept up by the profound depth of Gounod’s O Divine Redeemer and the power of Dvorak’s Goin’ Home. Lead Kindly Light, Crossing The Bar, and Be Near Me Still are quiet works of divine inspiration.” - Steven Marking
THE ANTHEMS Anthems are featured vocal works performed as a highlight of a celebration or church service, but not composed as an integral part of the mass.
During the Victorian era, 1837 - 1901, anthems reached a pinnacle of composition and musicality. Some lean heavily on the operatic tradition, while others are gentle and intimate. The songs are a perfect vehicle for Steve: they require a highly trained singer with wide dynamic range, excellent diction, a dramatic style and most importantly, a sincere and spiritual soul. These anthems are rarely recorded and this collection is quite unusual in its scope.
As a nod to his fans, Steve has included “The Lord’s Prayer” in this collection. “It is my most requested song. It embodies the very essence of Victorian era anthems even though it was written well after the period.” - Steve Marking
THE INSPIRATION Steve was the bass soloist at the musically renowned Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, (featured on the album cover) from 2013 - 2017. “I felt an instant comfort the first time I entered the worship space. It gave me a sense of majesty and wonder without losing the intimacy of my relationship with God.” - Steven Marking
It was here that Bill Mathis, music minister, introduced Steven to organist/pianist Donald Livingston.
“I came to know Donald Livingston as the most sensitive and capable accompanist on any keyboard. I wanted to record Holy Chestnuts with Donald on the organ in the sanctuary at Hennepin Church.” - Steven Marking
AN ACCOMPLISHED OPERA SINGER Steve has dozens of opera and oratorio roles to his credit. He received a master’s degree in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory, studied at Yale University, then spent twenty years singing opera and oratorio in the New York area.
His Twin Cities performances include a role with Minnesota Opera, soloing with the Metropolitan Symphony and Minnesota Chorale, a Schubert Club recital of songs of Charles Ives and Lee Hoiby, and oratorios; Haydn Creation, Brubeck’s Gates of Justice, Bach B Minor Mass, Faure Requiem, Brahm’s Requiem, Mozart Requiem. Steve is best known by his fans for his beloved hit show, Our Mighty Mississippi.
Steve is the great, great grandson of Gideon Pond, the first Presbyterian minister to arrive the Twin Cities area in 1834.
Holy Chestnuts is Steve's third inspirational CD. For more information see stevenmarking.com