Rio Nido

Prudence Johnson

Tim Sparks

Tom Lieberman

All Ages
Rio Nido emerged from the heady days of the 1970s Minneapolis West Bank music scene as an iconic vocal jazz trio that redefined the genre.

The group began in the late 1970s, when chanteuse Prudence Johnson joined forces with ace guitarists and singers Tim Sparks and Tom Lieberman. The Minneapolis-based group’s debut LP, “I Like to Riff,” is considered by many to be a classic of the vocal jazz genre, featuring reinterpretations of the acrobatic vocal arrangements of such fabled harmonists as The Boswell Sisters, The Cats and the Fiddle, and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.

Each member of Rio Nido is an established artist in their own right, and together, they comprise a brilliant chemistry. Whether discovering “new classics” or presenting original compositions that evoke the timeless magic of classic Swing, Bebop, Blues and Bossa, Rio Nido continues to create music that is entirely unique, idiosyncratic and beautiful.

Prudence Johnson, an in-demand singer and entertainer, is well-known to audiences of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and appeared in its eponymous feature film, as well as in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It. Considered a singer’s singer, Prudence has released over a dozen acclaimed recordings, and has collaborated as both performer and producer on numerous successful theatrical productions and revues.

Tim Sparks has developed a devoted international following as a guitarist, and innovator of the instrument, with Guitar Player Magazine describing his music as “fresh, exotic, and totally cool,” and legendary guitarist Leo Kottke proclaiming Tim as “one the best musicians I know.” Tim is known for his far-reaching musical explorations, including a solo guitar adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite; to music inspired by his roots in rural North Carolina; to five recordings of Klezmer reinterpretations for John Zorn’s vaunted independent label, Tzadik.

Tom Lieberman is known for his association with A Prairie Home Companion, where he worked variously on the performance, creative and production staff from 1976-86. His work behind the scenes on APHC started Tom on the road to a far-reaching 40-year career as an award-winning creative director and producer for radio, television, stage and screen. As a lyricist and composer, Tom’s original songs have been heard from Sesame Street to Sweet Land, and he is the creator of everybody’s favorite talking ukulele, Luke the Uke.

Venue Information:
The Dunsmore Jazz Room
6161 Hwy 65 NE
Minneapolis, MN, 55432