The Current's Winter Warmup - Night 2: Ondara at the Uptown Theater
Friday, December 8
2900 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408 ·
with We Are The Willows
Uptown Theater on Friday, December 8.
Doors 7 p.m. | Show 7:30 p.m. | All Ages
Enter for a chance to win passes to this show.
The Current is pleased to offer a ticket giveaway to this concert. Enter by noon (CDT) on Monday, December 4, for a chance to win a pair of passes to this concert. FIVE (5) winners will receive two guest list spots to Ondara at Uptown theater on Friday, December 8.
This entry is now closed. Congratulations to the lucky winners!
J.S. Ondara offers a unique take of the American dream on Tales of America, his debut album. Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, listening to American alt-rock and making up his own songs for as long as he can remember. After moving to Minneapolis in 2013, he began making his way in the local music scene, continually writing songs about what he saw, felt and experienced in a place far different from home. From a stockpile he says is hundreds of songs deep, Ondara chose 11 for Tales of America. They’re captivating tunes built around acoustic guitars and adorned with subtle full-band accompaniment for an openhearted folk-rock feel. He sings in a strong, tuneful voice well-suited to the gorgeous melancholy he expresses on the wistfully lovelorn “Torch Song,” or his steadfast infatuation on “Television Girl.” Ondara sings rueful lyrics in an anguished tone on “Saying Goodbye,” and leaves plenty of room for interpretation on “American Dream,” the first single.“I knew I wanted a song called ‘American Dream’ on the record, but I didn’t have that song,” Ondara says with a laugh. “I couldn’t find it. I wrote like twenty songs called ‘American Dream’ before I found the one that ended up being the record.” His persistence is evident throughout Tales of America, which is indeed a classic American tale. It’s the story, told in song, of an immigrant seeking a new life, who dedicates himself to achieving his vision through hard work and determination.
We Are The Willows
We Are The Willows is the art pop project of Minneapolis based singer/ songwriter/ producer Peter M. His unique countertenor voice is often supported by Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar), Travis Collins (bass/ voice), Hilary James (cello/ voice), and Josh McKay (drums). Whether as a band or a solo artist, we are the willows crafts dynamic songs with a contemplative air. The songs cover a lot of conceptual ground: from family history to modern social life and personal identity.
We Are The Willows has been releasing music since 2007. The most notable release, Picture (Portrait), a 20 song, two part concept album based on letters written between Miller’s Grandparents during World War II, garnered praise from NPR, the BBC, NOISEY, PASTE magazine, Buzzfeed, The Brooklyn Vegan, and USA Today. Between 2009 and 2017 the band toured a great deal, including showcasing at SXSW, Treefort Music Fest, Summerfest, and supporting slots with Blitzen Trapper, S. Carey, PHOX, and Matt Pond PA.
In the summer of 2020, the band released their third full length record: Who We Are & Where We Are Now. This album finds the band with more clarity, consideration, and sense of self. These songs are about processing depression, anxiety, the nature of love, and identity. This album is a testament to getting better for the people and things you love. It’s an acceptance that there is no arrival point, there’s only who we are & where we are now.