5 Minutes with Jamecia Bennett

Sounds of Blackness soloist Jamecia Bennett is the fulcrum of a Minnesota music dynasty that began with her mom, the legendary gospel singer Ann Nesby, and continues with her daughter, American Idol star Paris Bennett. This spring, she’ll star in the Guthrie’s production of A Raisin in the Sun.

Occupation: Professional singer/actress

Twin Citian since: 1989

What do you consider the highest character trait in a Minnesotan? 

The love Minnesotans have for their state.

Lowest local character flaw?

The ability to communicate with and understand a certain race.

Favorite place to go during the summer?

Bde Maka Ska

What’s a nonprofit that should be on everyone’s radar?

Pimento Relief Services

Where would you be  happy eating your last meal?

Chino Latino—but since we lost it, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen.

Your order?

Jerk chicken with beans and rice, plantains, slaw, and a beef patty.

Minneapolis or St. Paul?


When and where were you most inspired locally?

2016, when I taught an after-school program for the Franklin Middle School students.

Favorite neighborhood hang?

The studio at HSRA (High School for Recording Arts).

What do you wish outsiders knew about the Twin Cities?

That we still have a great live music scene.

What’s been your biggest achievement here?

Becoming the first woman of color to become resident artist of the Ordway.

Who’s your favorite Minnesotan artist alive?

Sounds of Blackness

Under the Cherry Moon or Graffiti Bridge?

Under the Cherry Moon

Your biggest regret?

Never finishing my piano lessons.

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