Dan Olson Feature Archive

The St. Croix River has been in the news a lot of late, owing to the controversy over the new bridge that will link Highway 36 in Minnesota to Highway 64 in Wisconsin. But this summer, the river becomes something else. (07/10/2012)
Michael Charette says he learned to play the flute in off hours from his day job as a baker. And he says smiles from people eating his baked goods give him the same good feeling he gets from making music. (07/06/2012)
Helina Leino Pakola was a talented violinist headed for the concert stage in her native Finland. And then life threw her a curve ball. "My career was destroyed by falling in love with a man!" she laughs. (06/22/2012)
"The Conversationalist's Cafe" provides a menu of topics to encourage Minnesotans to talk to one another. (06/18/2012)
Salah Fattah can pinpoint the moment the music bug bit him. He was 12 years old; the family was living in Cairo. He and his older brother were at a theater watching Charlie Chaplin's movie, "Limelight." (06/11/2012)
Meteorites play a role in Minnesota's mineral wealth. And some meteorites are more valuable than gold. The problem is finding them, according to a leading expert on meteorites at the University of Minnesota. (06/01/2012)
The sun is setting on Lake Superior as members of the Spin Collective dancers soak small kevlar orbs in fuel and set them afire. Then, wielding them at the end of chains or long metal arms, they begin twirling the orbs in what's called a poi dance. (05/24/2012)
An accordion played outdoors evokes scenes of Paris in the springtime. Or, in the case of local accordion player Dan Turpening, Minneapolis in May. (05/08/2012)
Every year on May Day at a park in Minneapolis, Morris Dancers strap bells to their shins, sing, shout and clack sticks to mark the change of the seasons. It's a 500 year-old folk tradition from England that has sunk deep roots here in Minnesota. (05/01/2012)
Do people who are Muslims, Jews or Christians ever think about the other religion's God? That's one of the questions posed in "Parables," which opens tonight at the University of Minnesota. (04/19/2012)
The penetrating wail of a Scottish Highland bagpipe doesn't leave much middle ground. Either you're a fan of the stirring, toe tapping tunes the instrument can produce, or its sounds send you racing for cover. Macalester College piping director Mike Breidenbach audibly falls into the fan category. (03/30/2012)
Jane Belau volunteers her time every Monday and Thursday morning to play the piano in the Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building lobby. Her music entices others to sing and dance, as well as lift the spirits of patients. (03/21/2012)
According to the Star Tribune website, Cowles was surrounded by his family when he died Saturday evening. He had lung cancer. (03/18/2012)
The war in Somalia does not produce a lot of good news. But in our new episode of Minnesota Sounds and Voices, we heard some first hand. (03/15/2012)
For her work resettling Hmong refugees, Olga Zoltai will be one of the recipients of this year's Immigrant of Distinction Award, named by the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. (03/01/2012)