11am to 2pm

Michelle Kinney + Christopher Cunningham:

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Cellist and Composer Michelle Kinney is a lifelong improviser, who is most inspired by collaborative cross-genre work and non-traditional contexts for the cello. Using a looper to orchestrate layers, Michelle improvises for daily dance classes as Musician in Residence at the U of MN’s Dance Program, riding impulse, gesture and gut response, rhythm and light/wave energy.

While living in NYC for 13 years, Michelle was lucky enough to tour and record with some of the most respected innovators in new music, including the unforgettable Butch Morris, Leroy Jenkins, Henry Threadgill, Jason Hwang, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi and Myra Melford.

Michelle’s current projects include Maithree – The Music of Friendship, a collaboration led by South Indian Veena virtuoso Nirmala Rajasekar, Michelle also leads her own band What We Have Here, performing Michelle’s original compositions. She also co-leads the 2-cellos and tabla/drum quartet Jelloslave which has made 2 critically acclaimed recordings, received support from the MN State Arts Board and performed all over the Twin Cities and the state for the last 12 years.

Michelle’s work as a composer/performer has been recognized and supported by the The McKnight Foundation (Composer Fellowship, 2014), Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 2014, The Bush Foundation (Bush Artists Fellowship 2004), The Jerome Foundation, MN State Arts Board, NEA/Rockefeller, Harvestworks/Studio Pass, and the American Composers Forum. 

Chris Cunningham came of age during the strange period of 1970s-80s musical culture and hit the ground running — directly into the maw of New York’s No Wave and punk funk scenes of the 1980s. His gig with James Chance/White and the Contortions began a 25 plus -year period of global touring and performing. His collaborations on stages and in studios with Marianne Faithfull, The Lounge Lizards, Jeff Buckley, Haiti’s Boukman Eksperyans, Turkey’s Omar Farouk, Ireland’s Katell Keineg, Susan McKeown, and Gavin Friday, The Golden Paliminos, John Zorn, Marshall Crenshaw, Joan Osborne, John Medeski, Richie Havens, and The Saqqara Dogs kept the scenery constantly changing outside the tour bus/plane/train/limo window. He has released two critically acclaimed solo albums, Stories to Play and Neverwas, and his Twin Cities groups have included Mississippi Peace, Fall of the House of Usher, Coloring Time, Ghost Exploder, Cherry Spoon Collective, Improvestra, and many others. His main repository of recorded musical content is at