PHOENIX (January 6, 2023) — The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is excited to welcome Andrew Walesch as the new artistic director of the MIM Music Theater.

Walesch brings to MIM extensive experience in the live music industry, where he has worked with a variety of emerging talent and world-famous musicians and their teams. He spent the past eight years as the music director of Crooners Supper Club in Minneapolis, booking 12 or more shows a week across three venues and myriad genres, including rock, pop, jazz, country, folk, world, classical, and more. During the challenges of the pandemic, Walesch led the team at Crooners to produce more than 250 virtual and socially distanced concerts, keeping hundreds of musicians working and bringing positive experiences to thousands of audience members in dire need of connection.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andrew to MIM,” says April A. Salomon, MIM’s executive director. “He brings extraordinary knowledge and an incredible amount of passion to our organization. I look forward to his partnership and the valued contributions he will make in the years ahead.”

Walesch is also a seasoned professional singer, pianist, and performer, which gives him a unique perspective on the artistic director role. Back in October, he was invited to sing at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City for the 33rd Annual Cabaret Convention.

Walesch earned a bachelor’s degree in music with a minor in political science from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He has also served on the board of many music-based nonprofits, including the JazzMN Orchestra, where he managed the programming and artistic direction.

“MIM is an experience where magic happens every day,” Walesch says. “Witnessing the glow in the eyes of an audience as they absorb inspirational musical moments is the thrill I look most forward to in my work at MIM. Whether through the keen ear of a seasoned concertgoer or the imaginative wonder of a child, the MIM Music Theater can offer everyone an intimate, acoustically rich, and experientially world-class concert environment.”

Since 2013, the MIM Music Theater has been guided by music industry veteran Lowell Pickett, who played a key role in the search for his successor. As MIM’s new artistic director, Walesch will preserve and build on the legacy of the MIM Music Theater as one of the country’s premiere music venues for showcasing performances from every genre. His main responsibilities will include booking national and international performances for the MIM Music Theater, designing the programmatic mix of artists, and coordinating the schedule of performances by local artists and artists booked through MIM’s partner organizations.

“Since nearly the beginning of MIM, Lowell Pickett leveraged his taste, reputation, and booking prowess to realize an ambitious vision for a world-class music venue in Phoenix that is a magnet for some of the world’s greatest artists,” Walesch says. “My own experience in the Twin Cities, raising the profile of a new music venue over eight years through increasingly more ambitious and diverse music programming, grounds me in the process and helps me to clearly recognize all that has gone into establishing MIM’s superlative reputation as a unique and superior listening environment. Musical excellence has always been the objective on every front—this is clear—and I’m committed to maintaining and building upon this standard.”

Walesch will be working in partnership with Pickett as he transitions into this role during MIM’s Winter/Spring Concert Series, which presents more than 50 concerts through April.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 480.478.6000.


About MIM and the MIM Music Theater

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches our world by collecting, preserving, and making accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming, and exceptional musical performances. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

In addition to hosting performances by renowned artists, the MIM Music Theater introduces guests to emerging talents from around the world. It has been called “the best 300-seat venue in the country” by Grammy winner Shawn Colvin. Each performance is an extension of the museum’s exhibits―showcasing the instruments, the people who play them, and the musical language we all share.

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Sydney Rich
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