Great Northern Radio Show returns April 7 in Bemidji

I’m very excited (and busy) these days with the next episode of the Great Northern Radio Show slated for Saturday, April 7, 2012 at the Chief Theater in Bemidji.

In coming weeks I’ll be sharing some bonus show notes and materials here at MinnesotaBrown. In due time we hope to have our own interactive website and podcast channel, but right now our focus is on getting material set for Easter Weekend.

You can follow the updates by “liking” the Great Northern Facebook Page.

Behold, the press release:

KAXE’s ‘Great Northern Radio Show’ rolls to Bemidji April 7

Northern Community celebrates new KBXE station with flagship variety program

HIBBING, Minn. (March 23, 2012) – The Great Northern Radio Show, a contemporary variety program forged in northern Minnesota, comes to Bemidji for a live broadcast Saturday, April 7, at the Chief Theater.

“Our show combines many of the elements you find in old time radio with the human texture found here among northern Minnesota’s people and the times in which we live,” said show host and executive producer Aaron J. Brown. “We strive to represent northern Minnesota culture and pay special attention to the people and stories of the places we visit. But mostly we just have a wall-to-wall good time on the radio and give the people in the theater an exciting experience.”

The Great Northern Radio Show features music, storytelling, comedy and the excitement of an unpredictable live radio show. The program airs live 5-7 p.m. on April 7 on 91.7 KAXE, 90.5 KBXE and streaming at The show will also be podcast and rebroadcast on these and other stations. Seating is free, but people are asked to arrive by 4:30 to be ready for the broadcast.

Great Northern’s Bemidji show features several well-known regional and local performers. The Duluth-based contemporary bluegrass/folk band Two Many Banjos will headline. Acclaimed Bemidji singer/songwriter Jim Miller will appear on his comeback tour. Annie Humphrey-Jimenez of Deer River brings her progressive folk style. Several up-and-coming singers and songwriters from the area are also scheduled, including Analisa Huschle of Bagley, Sonny Johnson of Bemidji, Kaija Roy of Bemidji and returning Great Northern Radio Show guest Iris Kolodji of Hibbing. Ojibwe hand drummer and singer Nate King of Bemidji and area quartet The Pinetones both play important roles, along with Great Northern house keyboardist Nickolai Koivunen of Hibbing.

Local actors Sara Breeze, Greg Gasman and Mark Christiensen of Bemidji will anchor the sketch troupe, along with Great Northern’s veteran announcer and foley artist Scott Hanson of Hibbing and appearances by several special guests, including Icebox Radio Theater of International Falls and other surprises.

“The Bemidji area has a wonderful, diverse and extremely enthusiastic arts community,” said Brown. “So many people have stepped to help and be a part of the show. It’s been a great deal of fun to combine this talent with our friends from the Iron Range where our show was born.”

Northern Community Radio is offering reserved seating at the Chief with advance reservations. Call 800-662-5799 or visit for more information.

The Great Northern Radio Show is scheduled to broadcast from the John Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd on June 16, the Boardman Theater at Eveleth-Gilbert High School in Eveleth on Oct. 20 and the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork on Dec. 15.

The program is a local original production of Northern Community Radio, a nonprofit independent public radio network including KAXE in Grand Rapids and KBXE in Bemidji, serving a wide swath of northern Minnesota. The Great Northern Radio Show is supported by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and underwritten by the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota. The program will be podcast and rebroadcast after its live performance on Northern Community Radio, and other public radio stations.

The Great Northern Radio Show is produced and hosted by Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown. Brown’s book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range” won the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. His unique northern Minnesota news and culture blog was an Editor’s Choice in the WCCO Minnesota Most Valuable Blogger awards. He teaches communication at Hibbing Community College.

For more information call KAXE at 218-326-1234 or go to

Photos (top to bottom): 

Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown introduces the Oct. 11, 2011 Hibbing premier of the Great Northern Radio Show. Brown is the host and executive producer of the Great Northern Radio Show. He founded the show in response to his early admiration of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, A Prairie Home Companion, the Muppet Show, old time radio and his love of his native northern Minnesota Iron Range region. “The show is truly a blend of these influences,” said Brown. Nickolai Koivunen (right) a pianist who lives in the Sax-Zim bog, is the musical backbone of the program.

Iris Kolodji of Hibbing sings Bob Dylan during the Oct. 11, 2011 premier of the Great Northern Radio Show. Kolodji returns for the Bemidji show on April 7, along with several talented performers from the Bemidji area.

Actors peform a sketch during the Oct. 11, 2011 Hibbing debut of the Great Northern Radio Show. The program blends live music, comedy and storytelling in for a unique theater and radio experience in northern Minnesota.

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