The Arts@MSP Program spotlights the diversity of the Upper Midwest region of the U.S. with performances that include Classical, Brazilian, East Indian, Ukrainian, Amharic and East African genres. Dance, theatrical, and spoken word performance are also presented. Let our musicians help you to relax while you’re with us at the MSP Airport. Performances are scheduled regularly in the post-security areas of Terminal 1 and 2.


Pianist Janie Becker is a native of Southwestern Minnesota. She has been an active composer, performer, church musician and private instructor in the Minneapolis area since her graduation from the College of St. Benedict. Janie has been arranging, and composing original music for piano, since 2000. She currently has two Christmas collections, Angels and The Holly and the Ivy, a collection of American favorites entitled HeartSong America, a collection of Irish favorites entitled HeartSong Ireland and three collections of original piano solos, Ports of Call, Forever Friends, and Echoes of Love.

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Pat Carlson, is an accomplished pianist and harpist. In 2007, after a very successful 42-year career as a flight attendant with Northwest Airlines, she retired. At that time, she pursued her life long ambition to become a professional harpist/pianist, song writer, composer, and recording artist. She presently has five beautifully creative CDs available for your easy listening enjoyment. Her harp and keyboard music have been used as relaxing background music by numerous national businesses. Her music has been featured in several documentary films.

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Nate Hance is a pianist and composer in the Twin Cities. In addition to performing all over the state both solo and in various bands, Nate has a bustling YouTube channel with hundreds of interesting music videos. You can often find him playing piano upside down, backwards, in an inflatable T-rex costume, and singing songs about his hatred of pineapple on pizza. On the other end of the spectrum, Nate has recorded 5 albums of relaxing and reflective solo piano music.

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John Hayes is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Showing an early interest in music, Hayes received formal piano training throughout much of his youth. Ultimately, as formal lessons progressed and frustrating his teachers became more and more frequent, he eventually dropped out of classical training and began to develop his self-taught style of playing. It was at this time he began to familiarize himself with the compositions and techniques of his favorite composers and began to write his own music.

His debut solo album By The Woods was released in December of 2018 by New York-based label Sonder House. The debut was well received garnering attention from various publications and establishing Hayes as an upcoming new artist on the scene. In May of 2020 he released his sophomore solo album The Last Best Place. This was followed up with a pair of collaborative releases, Borealis, a collaboration with Maxy Dutcher on Moderna Records, and the upcoming collaboration with Elskavon, Du Nord, out November 20th on Western Vinyl. Hayes’ release on Western Vinyl sees him join see him join a loaded roster alongside artists such as Goldmund, Balmorhea, Peter Broderick and more.

Hayes’ music has been featured on several renowned radio stations including KEXP, BBC and James Heather’s Soho Radio show “Moving Sounds.” Hayes also performs regularly a resident pianist at the award-winning Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. John currently writes, records and produces music out of his Emerson Studio in Minneapolis.

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Greg Herriges plays a mix of original and traditional “progressive world music” on guitar and bouzouki (Greek lute), with a unique approach honed by his studies of Asian, Middle Eastern, and other international styles. An award-winning composer and performer, his music and writing have found international recognition. Integrating Eastern and Western sounds, he spins new webs out of everything from Indian ragas and Turkish dances to Japanese folk and American surf-jazz. He is also a theater/film soundtrack artist and author of music books, but performing is his lifeblood. He is equally at home playing with cross-cultural ensembles or “letting one guitar play him.”

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Chris Holm is a country blues musician based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A fingerstyle guitar picker and harmonica player, Chris channels the high-spirited liveliness of Charley Patton, thumping on his suitcase drum, attacking his guitar strings with abandon, and shouting along in a gravelly howl, later to channel the lonesome sounds of a weeping slide guitar and a blue yodel.

Despite his Northern Minnesota roots, Chris’ has formed in intimate connection with the music of the American South. Born and raised in the small community of Clearbrook, population 580, near the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, the river’s musical heritage has made a strong impression on Chris throughout his life. Raised on the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Flatt & Scruggs, The Beatles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, he eventually dug into the heroes of his own heroes and discovered a deep appreciation for country blues and hillbilly country music. Sprinkles of his Scandinavian heritage add a unique flavor to his music for a sound that’s both old and familiar yet fresh and original.

You may also catch Chris fronting his roots rock & roll band The Fattenin’ Frogs and psychedelic blues rock duo Heatwave & Landman.

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José James, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, Producer is a three-time Minnesota Hall of Fame inductee as a member of Willie & The Bees, Shangoya and Ipso Facto. His music has been featured in movies and Television shows like Exiled, Jessica Simpson’s The Price Of, Daddy’s Girl, Human Giant, Things To Try Before You Die and Caribbean Carnival. He was voted Best Brass/Reed Artist at the Minnesota Music Awards in 1994.

He began playing the Alto Saxophone at age 12, and at 14 was playing in his first “Combo” The Scepters. At 17 while studying music theory and classical flute at the Conservatory of Music, he was asked to be the opening act for “The Hardest Working man in Show Business” James Brown.

Following the advice of saxophonist Lou Donaldson, with whom he made numerous stage appearances, he moved to the United States to attend the University of Minnesota studying composition and playing with the Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Frank Bencriscutto, highlighted with a tour featuring guest trumpeter Clark Terry and a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

José started his solo career performing and making stage appearances with James Brown, Jimmy Walker, Nipsey Russell, George Wallace, Larry Miller, Paul Williams, Doc Severinsen, Eddie Daniels, Bob Brookmeyer, Art Pepper, Bonnie Raitt, Rubén Blades, Ipso Facto, Alexander O’Neal, Tracy Chapman, Bernard Allison, Syl Johnson, Peter Frampton, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, UB40, and Prince to name a few.

He has released 7 CDs representing various genres, Latin, Pop, R&B, Rock, Contemporary Jazz and continues to perform in front of audiences around the world.

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The diversity and eclecticism in Pavel Jany‘s guitar playing have no boundaries, and his long musical journey encompasses many different genres from classical to jazz, Latin music, Gypsy jazz, bossa nova, and more. Pavel has been known to Minnesota audiences as a soloist and as a band leader of several local groups (Talking Strings, Ticket To Brasil and World Jazz Collegium) for nearly two decades, and his versatility is reflected in numerous collaborations with many local and international musicians. He has opened for such renowned artists as American jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson, Brazilian singer Cibelle, and the popular Grammy-nominated Brazilian Trio. In addition to a number of recordings with his groups, he had produced and released two solo albums. 

Pavel Jany‘s music has been continuously featured on local radio stations Jazz 88 KBEM FM and KFAI Fresh Radio, and in several MN Public TV productions. Minnesota audiences can frequently enjoy Pavel‘s live performances at many local music venues, concert series and festivals.

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James is a talented young man who was diagnosed with classic autism at age 2. By 4, James showed an interest in music and began piano lessons the following year. His first teacher identified him as having absolute (perfect) pitch. Even with this ability, James has required many hours of lessons, daily practice, and support to become a public performer. By age 16, he began volunteering his piano playing at local senior homes and hospitals. Since completing high school in 2018, James has been playing weekly at the MSP airport, a hospital, chapels, and many senior homes. He has also been attending a community college to improve his musical skills. In addition, since 2019, James has become an owner of the business AbiliKeys in Autism, advocating for those, like him, on their abilities.

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Born in August, 1962, Heidi is a pianist & songwriter along with being a wife, mom, and daughter. Her early traditional and classical training lead her to create her own contemporary style, write her own music, and re-imagine the songs of many other favorite artists. Recognized for her lyrical technique, she cites Jim Brickman, Lori Line, Yanni, Philip Wesley, and David Nevue, along with Chopin & Debussy as her major influences. She loves to reach people from the piano, and is working on her 3rd solo piano CD. She performs at private and corporate gatherings in the Twin Cities area.

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Holly Nelson is an award winning artist who has shown in over fifty solo and group exhibitions throughout the Midwest. Her drawings and paintings are included in both public and private collections including the Bakken Museum, Health Partners, Hennepin Healthcare, Marriott Corporation, Minneapolis Veteran’s Administration and the University of Minnesota. She earned her art degree at the University of Minnesota.

Alongside her studio practice, Ms. Nelson has engaged with the community as a teaching artist for more than twenty years. She currently teaches drawing and painting to children in the Pediatrics department at Hennepin Healthcare, older adults who residing in care centers and low income apartments, and adults with developmental disabilities. Holly has also taught drawing and painting for many years at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. She loves working with a wide range of learners and guiding the growth of their art skills and creativity.

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Since the release of his last studio record Illume in 2015, Minnesota-based composer Jacob Pavek filled the next few years fulfilling various milestones in his career. In 2016 he opened for Jóhann Jóhannsson, an idol of his, and created an Emmy-Nominated soundtrack to the documentary Hello Montevideo — all the while writing compositions that make up his Junior 2019 release, NOME. Rather than intentionally writing about specific subject matter, NOME is primarily Pavek reacting to certain feelings and moments in his life listening sub-consciously, whether it be rooted in a dream (“2040”), missing a loved one (“True North”) or the tragic social events of today’s age (“Pulse”). However, the album title NOME itself is meant for pure aesthetics rather than convey any subject matter directly. Here, the listener is free from bias and given room to create their own world from it. NOME was released on Unperceived Records on  February 8th, 2019.

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Dan Schwartz is a Minnesota musician who plays roots-based, melody-driven tunes on harp guitart and lap steel. Dan earned a degree in American Finger-Style Guitar Performance from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where he dove deep into the works of Michael Hedges and Leo Kottke. Dan has written and released nine CDs and has been featured on several internationally released acoustic guitar compilations including Narada Records Masters of Acoustic Guitar. His recordings have earned him a nomination for guitarists of the year (Minnesota Music Academy) and Folk/Roots album of the year (Mpls. St Paul Magazine). While Dan does enjoy sharing his music center stage, some of his favorite musical moments have been as a side-man for friends and folk heroes Neal and Leandra, Peter Mayer, and Dan Navarro (Lowen and Navarro). Dan’s latest recording, High Plains Gospel, is a collection of finger-style guitar tunes played on harp guitar and acoustic lap steel.

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Guitarist Joel Shapira is an internationally acclaimed musician residing in St. Paul/Minneapolis MN. He’s a leader and/or member of multiple top Twin Cities’ jazz ensembles, as well as a master of the demanding
discipline of solo guitar. He performs regularly with world class musicians, has over a dozen recordings to his credit, and is an artist featured on the NYC record label Unseen Rain Records.

In 2017, with the release of his first solo guitar recording  In Essence, Shapira has received glowing accolades from critics in Vintage Guitar magazine, The Jazz Police, The Villager newspaper, as well as national radio airplay.

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Jimmy Stevens is a native of Chicago who grew up listening to his father’s accordion and record collection of popular Polish and American music. Jimmy’s early music experiences took him from accordion to rock-n-roll organ and then finally to piano. His passion for the piano continues to this day through the different venues of performance, composition and arranging, and peer collaborations. Jimmy enjoys the challenge of playing arrangements that demonstrate the styles of extraordinary pianists of the past like George Shearing, Art Tatum, and Eddie Duchin. Hear him do exactly that on his 2019 CD titled, Gems of Their Treasure in My Hands.

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Phala Tracy: Harpist, composer, improviser, arranger, teacher, singer – Phala is a versatile musician. From classical to pop, ragtime to improvisation, she pushes the boundary of what one has come to expect from the pedal harp. A lover of nonsense, many of her lyrics are imbued with a spirit of whimsy. Her first album, Critter Songs is a collection of playful, imaginative songs for children. Phala lives and works in Minneapolis, MN where she teaches harp at Studio Fidicina and Gustavus Adolphus College. She can be seen performing at the State Theatre production of the Nutcracker, on the New Standards Holiday Show, with Chris Lynch and the Dust of Suns and also with Matt Wilson and His Orchestra.

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