Jackie Renzetti


From hoops to hip-hop

After making a name for himself on the basketball court, Lawrence McKenzie picked up a new name for his hip-hop persona: Mac Irv. McKenzie graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 with a degree in business and marketing, and he released his first album in 2011. He has played Soundset and South by Southwest, and he recently performed with Prof of Rhymesayers for a three-city tour. This weekend, he’ll open for Haphduzn, MaLLy and Last Word at the 7th Street Entry.

A trumpeting tribute

After receiving applause from a packed audience at Jazz Central, Larry McDonough and his quintet decided to bring their Chet Baker tribute concert to the Dakota Jazz Club. McDonough, an adjunct law professor at the University of Minnesota, will play a concert honoring BakerâÄôs music at the Dakota Jazz Club on Thursday. McDonough banded together four other Minnesota musicians for the occasion: trumpeter Steve Kenny, saxophonist Richard Terrill, bassist Greg Stinson and Dean White on drums.

Concerts and conferences

The Counterfactuals are paving their way in the prof rock world. Carleton College professors Daniel Groll, Jason Decker and Andy Flory and St. Olaf College professor Michael Fuerstein comprise the indie rock outfit from Northfield, Minn. The group released its first album, âÄúMinimally Decent People,âÄù in January 2014, and it has another album thatâÄôs currently in the works. The Counterfactuals will play at the Minnesota Music Summit at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul on Friday.

Exploring creativity

Hunched over the table, Billy Mullaney recited descriptions off the wine menu using poetic rhythm. Lately, Mullaney said, he’s looked at everyday text for meanings beyond their conventional use. On Friday and Saturday, the 2011 University of Minnesota graduate will present “Uncreativity Festival,” a variety show highlighting excerpts from six different authors and playwrights, including Mullaney. All of the works involve erasing or selecting portions of pre-existing work to create something new.

Sophomores on Shakespeare

From scansion to songwriting, sophomores from the University of Minnesota and Guthrie Theater BFA program will show off their Shakespeare studies this weekend. The students present two Shakespeare productions every year as part of the program’s sophomore curriculum. This year, the students will perform “Taming of the Shrew” and “Comedy of Errors.”   “If you can act Shakespeare, you can act any genre because Shakespeare is very challenging,” said Steve Cardamone, director of “Taming of the Shrew.”

Gamers with a goal

University of Minnesota alumni are repairing a glitch in video game-design infrastructure. Nicolaas VanMeerten and Evva Kraikul co-founded Glitch, an organization that aims to create a community for video gamers and educate them on career opportunities in the field. The organization’s second annual networking convention, called GlitchCon, is this weekend at the McNamara Alumni Center.

Doughnuts and a dream

Bradley Taylor said his doughnuts’ recipes require a cup of sexy and swag. The recent University of Minnesota graduate started delivering doughnuts in November. And recently, his operation — Sssdude-Nutz — started hosting pop-up shops in Dinkytown. With hopes of opening a storefront one day, the young entrepreneur is spreading the word about his pastries and learning the ropes of running a business.

Dreams of Next Summer

Al Church  is claiming a spotlight of his own. The Minneapolis  bassist, drummer and singer spent the last two years recording his debut album “Next Summer.”   Church has previously performed in Al Church and State  — which is on hiatus with a probable return, he said — as well as with Pink Mink , Frankie Lee  and Haley Bonar.   This Friday, he performs his first public concert with his band for its album release party at the Turf Club. 

Kindness to perform at the Triple Rock

In keeping with his musical alias Kindness, Adam Bainbridge offers free DJ gigs while he’s on tour. As Kindness, Bainbridge released “Otherness” in 2014, following his 2012 debut album, “World, You Need a Change of Mind.” Though he’s performed all over the world, he is currently touring the U.S. for the first time. On Tuesday, he brings his Go-Go, pop-infused rhythm and blues to the Triple Rock Social Club.