Revitalizing live music in the downtown district, one show at a time

ByShannon J. Cortes

Jun 23, 2022

Photos courtesy of Dakota

When the Dakota reopened in September 2021 after an 18-month pandemic hiatus, it resumed just whenre he stopped: featuring the same top-notch dining and musical experience that has made the club famous since 1985. New stage, lights, sound system, menu: this downtown gem shines bright!

Here are a few reasons to visit Dakota this summer.

The Dakota has always been known for its regional menu, which is why hiring Southern cooking master Remy Pettus as executive chef came as a bit of a surprise. The mind behind Bardo and Eastside stepped into their new role effortlessly, creating a dramatic and dynamic menu filled with Southern spices. Not to be missed with shrimp and oatmeal with pork sausage, roast duck breast or crayfish gumbo from Lac Vermilion. Don’t forget an order of Cajun Spicy Boiled Peanuts! Finishing off with Caramelized Banana Pancakes with Tasso Bacon and Dark Rum Sauce is a decadent and delicious way to end a meal.

Chicago-based saxophonist Steve Cole returns on July 15 and 16. Steve has been a constant presence on the smooth jazz charts for over 20 years, and his Super Band is packed full of Prince alumni. Ricky Peterson, with a rare weekend off his gig as Fleetwood Mac keyboardist, joins Steve for these shows, as does rising sax star Lucia Sarmiento, who was recently absent from his gig with Pitbull.

Squirrel Zippers

Perennial favorites the Squirrel Zippers perform on July 18 and 19. Started in the early 1990s as a fun foray into 1920s jazz and swing music, the band quickly became an exploration of bandleader Jimbo Mathus’ incredibly unique vision, as original songs like “Hell” have become centerpieces of their shows. Every night is a Saturday night with this band, but they also indulge in the darker, more theatrical side of Jimbo. Incredibly fun.

Atlanta Rhythm Section

The Wellness Show of the Summer takes place on July 24. Five of Atlanta’s top studio musicians came together for a 1970 session with Roy Orbison. Everything went so well that the Atlanta Rhythm Section was born. Praised for their role in creating the Southern rock genre, their string of ’70s hit singles and millions of albums sold is impressive. Equally impressive is the fire with which they play these and other hit songs today.

Minneapolis-based jazz singer Connie evingson performs with Patty and The Buttons on July 31. Connie’s incredible, supple, full-bodied voice sounds great in so many settings. But when she dives into the songs of the 20s and 30s, she really rings true. Patrick the accordionist Harison and his Buttons provide the perfect accompaniment: shades of Django Reinhardt and Sidney Bechet, keeping the atmosphere light and Parisian. Perfect evening music.

With live music seven nights a week and constantly changing food and drink optionsThe Dakota remains a top destination for music and food lovers.