Local Current Blog

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to curate ten days of free concerts for 2018 Super Bowl

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the NMAAM 2016 Black Music Honors on August 18, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for National Museum of African American Music)

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota music legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will be standing next to a giant “LII” ice sculpture in the IDS Center’s Crystal Court tomorrow to kick off the 100-day countdown to the 2018 Super Bowl — and to announce that they’ll be curating ten days of free concerts to be held in Minneapolis to correspond with the big game.

Super Bowl Live, which will run during the ten days leading up to the Feb. 4 championship game, will be “almost like a mini winterized State Fair,” according to the Star Tribune. “Everybody’s welcome and we’ll have headline acts,” a host committee spokesperson tells the paper. Referring to Jam and Lewis, she says “they are the Minnesota sound so they are making sure the Minnesota sound is represented.”

Tapping the Prince-linked superproducers adds a further layer of irony to the selection of Justin Timberlake as the game’s halftime headliner. Timberlake was part of the infamous 2004 halftime “wardrobe malfunction” that seriously harmed the career of Janet Jackson — an artist who collaborated with Jam and Lewis on all of her well-known albums, several recorded in Minneapolis in the 1980s and ’90s.

The announcement comes as a new book by The Current’s Andrea Swensson draws attention to the pre-history of the Minneapolis Sound, when Jam and Lewis were promising young artists and part of the Twin Cities R&B scene. The book — and, more importantly, the music — will be celebrated with a Saturday night concert at the Fitzgerald Theater.