Melo-M adds Minneapolis to U.S. tour

The Latvian “instrumental cello rock” group Melo-M has added a performance in Minneapolis to its February tour of the United States, according to the American Latvian Youth Association.

Melo-M—the members of which include Kārlis Auzāns, Valters Pūce and Antons Trocjuks—was formed in late 2004. The group has released one album, the self-titled Melo-M, which includes cover versions of 10 Latvian pop and rock classics.

The band originally was scheduled to tour with Marts Kristiāns Kalniņš, lead singer of the pop group Autobuss debesīs, but Kalnīņš took ill and a doctor advised he not travel, according to Vija Vīksne, president of the youth association (Amerikas Latviešu Jaunatnes apvienība, or ALJA).

Auzāns, who plays guitar with Autobuss debesīs, formed Melo-M. Pūce, son of vocal group Marana leader Valts Pūce, and Kristaps Bergs became the original two other members of the trio. Last summer, Trocjuks replaced Bergs. All the band members have classical cello training and have fared well in international competitions.

Concerts are scheduled:

  • In Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Feb. 4, in the Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church of Washington, D.C., 400 Hurley Ave., Rockville, Md. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is USD 25 or, for senior citizens and college students, USD 20. Children and high school studens will be admitted free. The event is sponsored by the Latvian Organizations of Washington. For further information, telephone Anita Juberte at +1 (301) 869-3127.
  • In Cleveland on Saturday, Feb. 11, in the United Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of Cleveland, 1385 Andrews Ave., Lakewood. The charity program includes champagne and refreshments beginning at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and the concert at 7 p.m., followed by a ball. Admission to the entire program is USD 50. General admission to the concert and ball is USD 25, admission for senior citizens and students is USD 20. For further information, telephone Brigita Puķite at +1 (216) 577-4370 or Franz Bauer at +1 (440) 320-5959.
  • In Kalamazoo on Sunday, Feb. 12, in the Union Bar & Grille, 125 Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. The concert begins at 4 p.m. In advance tickets cost USD 25 for adults, USD for youth to age 21, USD 5 for children to age 13. Tickets may be ordered by credit card by telephoning the Union Bar & Grille at +1 (269) 384-6756. Ask for the “February 12th Latvian Concert.” Tickets also may be ordered by check, payable to “Kalamazoo Latvian Association,” from Viktorija Krieva, 2526 Bach Ave., Portage, MI 49024. Further information is available by telephoning from Malda Pūtele, +1 (269) 353-8320.
  • In Minneapolis on Friday, Feb. 17, in the Latvian House, 2337 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is USD 20 for adults, USD 10 for students, and free for children. Refreshments will be available.
  • In Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 18, as part of a Valentine’s Day program and dance, in the Latvian House, 4146 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. A social hour is scheduled at 5 p.m., followed by the concert at 6 p.m., a broadcast of a Latvian hockey game at 7 p.m. and the dance at 9 p.m. General admission to the entire program is USD 35, but for ALJA members and supporters admission is USD 30. General admission to the concert is USD 25, but for ALJA members and supporters admission is USD 20. General admission to the hockey game broadcast and dance is USD 15, but for ALJA members and supporters admission is USD 10. Tables for eight persons may be reserved by contacting Vija Vīksne by e-mail at or by telephone at +1 (310) 850-6940.
  • In Seattle on Friday, Feb. 24, in the Latvian Center, 11710 3rd Ave. N.E., Seattle. Admission is USD 20 for adults, USD 10 for students. For further information, telephone Jānis Kramēns at +1 (425) 941-2753.
  • In Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Latvian Community Center, 1955 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles. The concert begins at 12:30 p.m. Admission is USD 20. Refreshments will be available by donation. For further information, telephone Vīja Vīksne at +1 (310) 850-6940.

The concert series is sponsored by ALJA. Further information about the concert tour is available by visiting

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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