Grammy winner kicks off NIU concert series

n Michelle Branch, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Jason Mraz featured in fall lineup

Northern Illinois University’s Campus Activities Board has put together an impressive schedule for fall including an up-close and personal performance by Michelle Branch Oct. 24 and a performance by Robert Randolph & The Family Band Nov. 4.

Michelle Branch kicks off the fall lineup at 8 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom on NIU’s DeKalb campus. Tickets for the event are available at the Holmes Student Center box office, 815-753-3146. Prices are $15 for NIU students and $20 for the general public. Box office is open 12:30-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Branch’s folksy pop sound and incredible guitar skills make this an event you won’t want to miss. Not only did her 2001 Grammy-winning platinum album, The Spirit Room, stay atop the Billboard Top 200 for 82 weeks, but it also has established her as one of the nation’s premier female songwriters.

“I knew this is what I was set out to do. I wanted to share my music with the world and inspire people,” Branch said.

The results speak for themselves—more than 2.5 million records sold, a Grammy, and MTV Viewer’s Choice Award on the basis of four top-10 hits, sold-out tours with Sheryl Crow, a smash duet with Carlos Santana and an opening slot courtesy of the Dixie Chicks during the summer.

Branch’s latest album, Hotel Paper, has undoubtedly created new opinions, as well as a deeper appreciation for her artistry from both critics and fans alike. This appreciation was shown as the album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200. Branch’s first single off the album, “Are You Happy Now?” has had a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the past 18 weeks.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4. Tickets are $10 for NIU students, $15 for the general public.

Robert Randolph is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most acclaimed musicians with his freshly innovative style blending the genres of funk, rock, blues and gospel music. His high-energy shows have earned him opening slots for artists such as John Mayer, O.A.R., The Roots and Dave Matthews Band. Robert’s debut studio release, Unclassified, received a four-star review from Rolling Stone and is currently on the CMJ and Billboard charts.

Jason Mraz will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18. Tickets go on sale Oct. 27 and are $15 for NIU students, $18 for the general public.

Mraz’s pop sensibilities have earned him a spot in heavy rotation on MTV, VH1 and radio stations across the nation. His major debut, Waiting For My Rocket to Come, has enjoyed a lengthy stay on the Billboard charts. The album blends Mraz’s early influences and coming-of-age by combining country and roots rock with the poeticism of coffeehouse folk, elements of jazz, and the rhythmic charge of hip-hop.

Contact the Holmes Student Center by phone at (815) 753-3146, the NIU Campus Activities Board office at (815) 753-1580, or visit

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