Rondo ’56

Remembering St. Paul’s African-American main street

Corner groceries, meat markets, pharmacies, garages, tailor shops, shoe shines, beauty parlors, barbershops, taverns and BBQ joints… Rondo Avenue was the main street of St. Paul’s African-American quarter and the backbone of a community that extended from Lexington to the Cathedral, from Marshall to University, with its midsection at about where the Dale Street exit off I-94 is now.

Rondo ’56 mixes oral history and old photographs with postwar R&B and gospel to evoke the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul before the freeway, a celebration of community resilience in the early days of the civil rights movement.

treasure-inn-singer-mel-carterRondo ’56 was presented at the MN Historical Society in the fall of 2010, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community for the MLK Holidays, 2011 and 2014, and at White Bear Unitarian Universalist church in January 2014.

Performers included:

  • Dan Chouinard, piano, host
  • Singers: Yolande Bruce, Bruce Henry, Cynthia Johnson, Thomasina Petrus, T Mychael Rambo
  • Dirk Freymuth and Pat Donohue, guitar; Gary Raynor, bass; Peter Johnson, drums; Daryl Boudreaux, percussion
  • Dave Jensen, trumpet; Kathy Jensen, saxophone
  • Eddie Ballard, Rondo elder and singer
  • Dorothea Burns, Rondo elder

Contact Dan to discuss Rondo ’56

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