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The ensemble Café Accordion will perform at the Sheldon Theatre Dec. 31, along with bluegrass group Monroe Crossing.

Spotlight: Cafe Accordion will celebrate New Year's

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Enjoy the "loungy," eclectic sound of Café Accordion that stems from gypsy-influenced "valse-musette" when the group rings in the New Year in Red Wing. The group complements that sound with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas and cumbias to create a varied show.

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Café Accordion, which has been performing since 1995, is led by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, with Eric Mohring on mandolin, violin and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass and vocals, Robert Bell on guitar and vocals and Joe Steinger on percussion.

The group has appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing series, the International Akkordeon Festival in Vienna, Austria and the Minnesota State Fair, as well as festivals, theaters and dance halls across the United States.

Café Accordion will be joined at the Sheldon Theatre on New Year's Eve by bluegrass gospel group Monroe Crossing.

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, the "father of bluegrass music," Monroe Crossing blends classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and original pieces in its performances.

The group has traveled throughout the United States and Canada, performing about 125 shows a year, and is based in Minnesota.

Monroe Crossing comprises Derek Johnson on guitar and vocals, Lisa Fuglie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Matt Thompson on mandolin, fiddle and baritone vocals, Mark Anderson on bass and bass vocals and David Robinson on banjo.

Monroe Crossing was 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 and four others.

The group's most recent release is called "Joy Joy Joy."

If you go...

What: Café Accordion Orchestra and Monroe Crossing

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 31

Where: Sheldon Theatre, 443 W. Third St.

Cost: $27.50 adults, $17.50 students

More info: 651-388-8700, 800-899-5759 or www.sheldontheatre.org.

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