Submitted by Eric Ortiz, a Rain Taxi board member.

Uptown Minneapolis is open for business. It might not seem that way with all the road construction on Hennepin Avenue. But good things are happening in Uptown.

One of those good things is the Granada Theater, a historic venue built almost 100 years ago. On Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m., the Granada is hosting BANneD BOOKS, a one-of-a-kind celebration of books, bands, and more.

Rain Taxi, a nonprofit literary arts organization, is organizing this event.

Here are five reasons you should attend BANneD BOOKS.

  1. You’ll be treated to riveting musical performances. The Muatas, Zak Sally, and Willie Wisely will be playing. The Muatas are Aryanna and Cam Muata, and they use a mix of post-punk, trip hop, dark wave, shoe gaze, and electronic to weave a sonic tapestry of their stories to connect with others. Zak Sally is a longtime bassist of the iconic Duluth-based Low and captivates by reimagining rock music through softness. Willie Wisely is a veteran of Minnesota music who has wowed for decades with a mix of power pop, vaudevillian showmanship, and talent that even Hollywood has recognized. Willie will have Tommy Barbarella on keys and John Fields on bass. Tommy was Prince's keyboardist in the 1990s with his New Power Generation. John is a local producer with many star credits to his name including the Jonas Brothers, The Commodores, The BackStreet Boys, Selena Gomez, Soul Asylum, Semisonic, and many more.
  1. There will be spellbinding literary readings. Dessa, Klecko, and special guest Carolyn Kuebler will share their words. Dessa may be nationally renowned, but she is a child of Minneapolis through and through and a longtime beloved part of the Rain Taxi family with her collections of poetry, "A Pound of Steam" and "Tits on the Moon." Klecko is a breadmaker and award-winning poet, who has written several books, including the Midwest Book Award-winning collection "Hitman-Baker-Casket Maker" and the memoir "A Bakeable Feast," and whose work has been featured in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times. Carolyn Kuebler co-founded Rain Taxi in 1996 and now is the editor of the New England Review and an award-winning writer with a debut novel, "Liquid, Fragile, Perishable," from Melville House that has been described by Michael Collier as “A true-to-life, richly detailed American tale in the tradition of Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, and Thornton Wilder” and one of Oprah Daily’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024.
  1. Reading books is good for your physical and mental health. Reading books strengthens the brain, increases empathy, builds vocabulary, prevents cognitive decline, reduces stress, aids sleep, alleviates depression, and lengthens lifespan. The benefits of reading books start in early childhood and continue through old age to change your brain and your body for the better.
  1. Listening to music is good for your soul. It also keeps you young and has many benefits. Music can improve your mood, mental alertness, memory, and sleep quality. It also can reduce stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, boost creativity, boost your immune system, ease pain, and increase your motivation and energy.
  1. The Granada Theater is one of the coolest places in Minneapolis. Built in 1928, the Granada is filled with history. Step inside the Granada Theater at 3022 Hennepin Ave., and you will be transported back to the old days of theater palaces.

Bonus: The fun starts before you arrive. Since Hennepin Avenue is under reconstruction, Hennepin from 31st to Lake Street, including in front of the Granada, is closed to drivers. That means people can’t get dropped off except at the backdoor in the alley. So you'll get to take the scenic route to the Granada after you park. The best place to park is the ramp behind Seven Points. Then walk down to 31st, over to Hennepin, and north on Hennepin to the Granada. Residential street parking is also an option off 31st on cross streets. After a little walking adventure from your car to the Granada, you will be ready for a drink, a bite to eat, music, books, and more. Rain Taxi has you covered in all areas at BANneD BOOKS.

Bonus Bonus: We can strengthen humanity together. In addition to celebrating the power of music and words, your presence at BANneD BOOKS at the Granada Theater will build more community in Minneapolis and support Rain Taxi, which amplifies the voices of diverse writers around the world. Books and music will available for purchase and signing, and stand-up poet, visual artist, and Rain Taxi board member Tom Cassidy will be the MC for the whole night.

Don't delay. Get your tickets today. And enjoy the show.