Violinist, advocate Gaelynn Lea performs in Rochester Feb. 24

The Duluth musician gained fame in 2016 as the winner of NPR's Tiny Desk concert.

Gaelynn Lea
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ROCHESTER — In 2016, Gaelynn Lea went from playing coffee shop shows in and around Duluth to touring nationally with an exploding fan base.

Lea, a classically trained violinist, is bringing her talents and music to Rochester for a live show at the Rochester Civic Theatre on Friday, Feb. 24.

Lea was winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk contest and quickly gained an enthusiastic following nationwide. That was only the beginning of her ascent.

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Last year, Lea composed original music for a revival Broadway production of Macbeth.

Lea was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic condition that interferes with the development of bones and limbs. Because of her shorter stature due to the condition, she plays the violin in the style of a cello. Using that technique, her bow strikes the lower strings of the violin first the way cello players play. Violin players strike the high strings first. Use of the technique gives her playing a unique and haunting sound.


Lea has used her reach to advocate for people with disabilities and how art can help people with disabilities express themselves.

Before gaining exposure from the Tiny Desk contest, Lea collaborated with various musicians in and around Duluth including Charlie Parr.

Tickets for the show will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 26 and will be available at .

If you go

What: Gaelynn Lea at Rochester Civic Theatre.

When: Friday, Feb. 24.

Where: Rochester Civic Theatre, 30 Civic Center Drive.

How much: TBD.


Gaelynn Lea
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John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or
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