Nationally-known and locally celebrated singers spanning a variety of styles, backgrounds, and generations pay homage to Nat King Cole’s musical and social change legacy throughout 2019!

Throughout 2019 the lakeside supper club Crooners presents “The World of Cole,” a series of monthly concerts celebrating the musical and social change legacy of the iconic singer and trailblazer Nat King Cole (1919 – 1965).

Marilyn Maye - MArch 23 & 24

Beginning in 2006 after a memorable appearance at the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention in New York, Maye, who has worked continuously since her Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 1965, suddenly found herself in

The greatest white female singer in the world.
— Ella Fitzgerald

The legendary Marilyn Maye will be among the headliners.  She returns to Minneapolis for the first time since 2010 for a four-show major engagement landing on Cole’s birthday month of March.  The 90-year-old entertainment phenomenon from Kansas City -- who is at the peek, many insist, of a remarkable six-decade career, plays Crooner’s newly refurbished, 200-seat MainStage in back-to-back early and late shows, on Saturday and Sunday March 23 and 24.

Dennis Spears, Ginger Commodore & T. Mychael Rambo - APRIl 17 & 18

The fourth installment of “The World of Cole” packs a wallop! Here the Twin Cities sweethearts and beloved theatre cross-over stars T. Mychael Rambo, Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears get together for an honest and heartfelt tribute Nat King Cole, the door opening jazz pianist and vocalist. With incandescent humor, forthright commentary, and uninhibited crooning this powerhouse trio will captivate us on back-to-back nights as they assess musical and social change legacy of the first black man to host an American television series (The Nat King Cole Show, which aired on NBC), whose silky-toned singing somehow epitomized an optimistic post-War America.


The Legendary Johnny O’Neal - MAY 29 & 30

Johnny O'Neal Quartet presents the music of Nat King Cole to help us celebrate "The World of Cole."

One of the best kept secrets in New York, Johny O’Neal sings like Joe Williams and plays piano like Art Tatum, with whom he in fact played in the Oscar-winning movie Ray.

He moved to New York City to perform with Clark Terry in 1981, and also landed a regular job at the Blue Note, accompanying such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown,Nancy Wilson, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. He was a member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers for two years from 1982-1983 and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985.

His slight stature belies the giant of the entertainer that he is — he can rock a room like a rocker, serenade it like a classic crooner, or swing it like he’s on a playground.


– Past World of Cole Concerts –


Presenting nationally-known and locally celebrated singers spanning a variety of styles, backgrounds, and generations, “The World of Cole” kicks off with local jazz favorites Connie EvingsonDebbie Duncan, and Andrew Walesch, with special guest Dave Karr on sax on January 29 and 30 at 7:30pm.


In Month 2, on February 26 & 27 at 7:30pm it’s Dan Chouinard, with Charmin Michelle and Arne FogelT. Mychael Rambo, Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears give us Cole-inspired evenings on April 17 & 18 at 7:30.

Ranked Best Jazz Club of 2018 by City Pages, the newly refurbished Crooners boasts two top-tier music venues -- the MainStage with 200 seats and the 80-seat Dunsmore Jazz Room, with its picture-postcard view of Moore Lake from the stage.