By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Singer and songwriter Rachel Kurtz will return to her hometown of Cokato to share her musical talents and storytelling as part of this year’s Cokato Corn Carnival.
Kurtz, a 1993 Dassel-Cokato graduate, will perform on stage in Peterson Park beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, and is being sponsored by the Cokato Ministerial Association.
Having toured all over the country, while selling more that 16,000 albums, Kurtz is honored to once again be performing Cokato Corn Carnival.
Growing up in Cokato, Kurtz attended Cokato Elementary. “I remember rolling down the terraces (in Peterson Park) when I was a little kid,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz first performed at the Cokato Corn Carnival in 2007 and is looking forward to returning and sharing her music from her most recent album, “Broken & Low Down.”
“When I was growing up, I never dreamed I would get the opportunities I’ve gotten,” Kurtz said.
Now when she speaks to young people she tells them, “We were created the way we are for a reason, and if you use the gifts you’ve been given and work hard to be excellent, you have no idea the opportunities that await you in your future.”
For the past 10 years, Kurtz has been a full-time musician, though she has been on the road for 14 years.
She performs at women’s retreats and youth events, mainly within the Lutheran church.
Last summer, Kurtz was fortunate to work with 35,000 young people at the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans writing and performing music.
Her song, “Make A Difference,” is now being sung all over the country. Her performance from the Superdome can be viewed on YouTube.
She was also part of three musical tours with a friend in which they raised a total of $125,000 to help end world hunger and bring clean water to developing countries around the world.
Keeping in touch with her Cokato connections, Kurtz recently recorded one of the leading roles for Caroline Wigmore’s musical, “Van Winkle A Folk Musical.”
Kurtz spends almost every weekend traveling for her musical profession. She currently lives in North Minneapolis with her husband of eight years, Michael May, and their three children, Henry, 5; Lucy, 3; and Benton, 1.
Style-wise, Kurtz performs blues, old gospel, folk, sing-a longs, and hymns.
She also tells stories, such as of the time she traveled to Germany, got the keys for an historical church, and sang inside of it in the pitch dark at 2 a.m.
Kurtz will share her voice and stories Monday, Aug. 12 in Peterson Park beginning at 8 p.m. on the main stage. To listen to her music, check out Featured Links at www.dasselcokato.com.