Dessa headlines The O'Shaughnessy season opener September 9

Dessa is a rapper, a singer, and an essayist with the Doomtree collective–the ascendant Minneapolis hip-hop crew. She headlined the O'Shaughnessy season opener September 9, 2016. Photo by Kelly Loverud.

Dessa is a rapper, a singer, and an essayist with the Doomtree collective–the ascendant Minneapolis hip-hop crew. Photo by Kelly Loverud.

Famed rapper, singer and essayist Dessa kicks off the The O’Shaughnessy’s 20th Women of Substance season on Friday, September 9. She’s joined by special guest, MONAKR. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 15 at noon.

Dessa made the Billboard Top 200 list as a solo artist (for "Parts of Speech") and as a member of the Doomtree collective (for "All Hands") — the ascendant Minneapolis hip-hop crew.

She built a career bucking traditional genre designations — she's rapped at Lollapalooza, arranged for full choir, and co-written classical works for orchestra. Dessa’s performed in a bombed-out hospital in Warsaw, in velvet-lined theaters in New York, and atop a folding chair in Johannesburg. Her live show includes a wide breadth of styles, from epic ballads to rapid-fire rap. The charismatic banter between the songs is as important as the set list; Dessa’s on-stage humor balances and complements the melancholy of her lyrics.

As a writer, Dessa’s contributed to MPR, the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, literary journals around the country, and has published two short collections of her own: Spiral Bound and A Pound of Steam.

The O’Shaughnessy performance is Dessa’s largest hometown headliner of 2016. Her full band and some new collaborators will join her on stage, playing familiar songs and recent compositions.

Listen to Dessa’s music, download images, or read more about her work at Follow her on social media at @dessadarling.

Chicago-based MONAKR formed in 2014 as collaboration between former members of indie pop band Hey Champ (Saam Hagshenas and Jonathan Marks), Gemini Club’s Daniel Brunelle and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Matthew Santos (a Minneapolis native). Largely inspired by the Peter Gabriel flavored electro-pop-rock of the ’80s, coupled with dark R&B and the moody trip-hop of the late ’90s, the genre-blurring MONAKR quickly became a sound greater than the sum of its parts.

MONAKR’s 2015 single “Calling Out” steadily climbed to #20 on the Spotify global viral charts. The band's first EP, Calling Out, was released in February, 2016. More info at

Reserved Ticket Information

Tickets are $45.00, $35.00, $25.00 and $15.00. For more information and tickets, contact The O’Shaughnessy Ticket Office at 651-690-6700; open Monday-Friday from 12-4 p.m. The ticket office is located on the main campus of St. Catherine University at 2004 Randolph Ave, St. Paul.

Purchase tickets [link is now inactive - event took place in 2016]