When the last of the 12 hours of the International Day of Music arrives Saturday night at Peavey Plaza and Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, Miloe and his parents will take the stage.
This familial set by the 22-year-old breakthrough singer-songwriter from Minneapolis via the Democratic Republic of Congo will cap a dizzying display of local cultural diversity through music and dance that will take place across four stages, free of charge, beginning at noon.
The Music in Motion Stage will move from the languid grace of Slo Dance to the West African drumbeats of Duniya Drum and Dance and into torrid hip-hop stylings from MNKrump and Meridian Movement Company. The lineup was curated by BRKFST Dance Company, this year’s artist in residence at the Minnesota Orchestra.
The Global Grooves Stage will bracket its programming with immigrant songs and stories from Cameroon via the Doula Soul Collective at the onset of the day and from Chile and Latin America via Alma Andina in the evening. In between there will be Yiddish tunes from Di Bayke Klezmer, the dance, music, and spoken-word artistry of gender-fluid Hmong performer Cydi Yang, and the blues-rock of the Native American ensemble Bluedog. This stage’s programming was curated by the Cedar Cultural Centre.
The Minnesota Orchestra is primarily responsible for the other two stages. Among the highlights will be a performance in Orchestra Hall’s auditorium by the Cuban Youth Orchestra. Chamber concerts by Minnesota Orchestra members will occur on both the main stage and in the Target Atrium. And when the full Minnesota Orchestra concludes its evening program out on Peavey Plaza with Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony, four downtown churches will peal their bells in unison.
But the grand finale will belong to Miloe. “We wanted to have something that would make a splash for [the slot] playing at 10:30 at night,” said Grant Meachum, director of Live at Orchestra Hall. “With Miloe being the musician that he is, at the place in his career that he is, this has the potential to be one of those ‘I was there’ sort of performances.”
Miloe has come a long way from five years ago, when he was Bobby Kabeya, composing his own lullabies to combat insomnia. He later downloaded them on to Soundcloud and took the stage name Miloe, after the Coldplay album, “Mylo Xyloto.”
Along with Coldplay, Miloe cites singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez as another formative influence.
Music has suffused Miloe’s life. His dominant early memories are from a church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where his parents met and both sang in the choir. Before he emigrated to Minneapolis at age 8 in 2009—gaining asylum after his father had been here for two years—he was adept on drums and could play piano. He jokes that he and his parents “took over” the music at a church in northeast Minneapolis made up of French-speaking Congolese immigrants.
On his latest EP, “Gaps,” Miloe began to incorporate more direct Congolese stylings, mixing in the easy glide of soukous and rhumba with his bedroom-pop music template. He’ll come full circle in this appearance with his parents, Mike and Sylvie. He and his father are both adept with looping and laptops, and there will also be a piano—and the family’s three strong voices for a performance rich in Congolese heritage, billed as Miloe and the Kabeyas.
“Our focus this year is on immigrant stories,” said Robert Lehmann, head of the Cultural Centre’s contribution to International Day of Music. “Miloe has really put in the work to be known here and across the country, but this is also a chance for him to play the music he grew up with, and that his mom and dad still sing. It is a super-special occasion and a really beautiful way to end the night.”
How to attend the Minnesota Orchestra’s International Day of Music
The Minnesota Orchestra, in partnership with The Cedar Cultural Center, is hosting its annual International Day of Music, featuring 12 hours of live music across multiple stages. The family-friendly event includes artists like Alma Andina, Bluedog, and Cydi Yang, who will perform in downtown Minneapolis on the 11th Street Global Grooves Stage.
Miloe and The Kabeyas will perform at Orchestra Hall in the main auditorium. The Minnesota Orchestra will perform at Peavey Plaza with conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin.
Two food vendors and 11 food trucks, including the Wandering Kitchen, Jamison’s Hibachi Kitchen, Montebello Empanadas, Tacos los 4 Carnales, Loulou Sweet and Savory ice cream, and many others, will also be available.
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2023
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Location: Multiple locations across Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- The Global Grooves Stage, corner of 11th St. S. and Marquette Ave.
- The Music in Motion Stage at Peavey Plaza, 1101 Nicollet Mall
- Orchestra Hall auditorium and Target Atrium Stage, 1111 Nicollet Mall
For more information: Call at 612-338-2674, or visit the Minnesota Orchestra website at https://www.minnesotaorchestra.org/summer/day-of-music/, or The Cedar website at https://www.thecedar.org/.