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Submitted photo Monroe Crossing will perfrom bluegrass music at the Arts Center next week.

Monroe Crossing to perform

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Monroe Crossing brings its bluegrass music to the Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music," Monroe Crossing performs a blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and originals. The group's known for its harmonies, razor-sharp arrangements and on-stage rapport.

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Based in Minnesota, the group plays an average of 125 shows a year at major venues and festivals, frequently for non-bluegrass audiences.

Monroe Crossing is made up of five people with differing musical backgrounds and tastes. They are: Derek Johnson, guitar, lead and harmony vocals; Lisa Fuglie, fiddle, mandolin, lead and harmony vocals; Matt Thompson: mandolin, fiddle and baritone vocals; Mark Anderson: bass and bass vocals, and David Robinson, banjo. Their paths crossed through the music of Bill Monroe so they like to say they had a "Monroe Crossing."

Among their many honors, Monroe Crossing was selected to showcase at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association Convention and inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The only bluegrass band ever nominated as Artist of the Year by the Minnesota Music Academy, Monroe Crossing won the 2003 MMA Bluegrass Album of the Year award. The group also took home four awards: Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo at the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association's 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet.

Opening for Monroe Crossing will be The Blackburns.

Art Blackburn, who sings and plays guitar, has been a fixture in the Minnesota bluegrass community for decades. In 2000, he was the driving force behind the creation of Monroe Crossing, a national band he both managed and toured with full time for 11 years.

Tickets for the event are available at The Arts Center and are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

The performances are ponsored by Hampton Inn & Suites.

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