So that’s why the Dakota Jazz Club’s calendar has been conspicuously blank for the remainder of this week and weekend. The space has been rented out by none other than Prince, who will be holding an audition for a new drummer, hosting a jam session, and performing at six separate events at the Dakota this week.
On Wednesday, January 16, Prince will conduct two “Soundcheck” shows, which Dr. Funkenberry reports will include a new drummer audition and improvisational music. Tickets for the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows are $70 each.
The next night, Thursday, January 17, Prince will lead a “Jam.” Tickets for those 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows range from $100-$150.
And on Friday, January 18, Prince’s shows are simply billed as “Surprise.” Those 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows run $250 each.
According to the Dakota, tickets for all three nights will go on sale at 11 a.m. today on their website. They also provided these details to Gimme Noise: “The kitchen will be closed all night and there will be no food available for purchase. Cameras and cell phones will not be allowed inside.”
Leave it to Prince to pop this news when we least expected it. The Dakota’s calendar is empty through Tuesday of next week, so there’s a chance that he might end up playing more than just these six shows, too. I’ll keep this post updated with all the latest.
To add to the oddity of this announcement, word has it that Prince picked the Dakota rather than jamming at his own Paisley Park because that space was already rented out by the band fun. The band will be launching their latest tour next Wednesday at Roy Wilkins, and will be using Paisley Park as their own private rehearsal space.
One has to wonder if these six Prince shows are a lead-up to a full-fledged tour, though that would be yet another curveball from the Purple One; lately, he’s been known to hole up in one city or region at a time and play a run of consecutive dates (see: Welcome 2 America, Welcome 2 Chicago, etc.). If his Twin Cities stint drags on, it could evolve into Prince’s long-awaited Welcome 2 Minnesota tour–except that the name has already been taken, so he’d have to call it something else.