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Grammy Award-Winning Okee Dokee Brothers Honored by Governor Dayton

Governor Mark Dayton proclaims “Okee Dokee Brothers Day” in the State of Minnesota

August 20, 2013

PHOTO : Governor Mark Dayton, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, the “Okee Dokee Brothers” and preschool students from the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood Freedom School do a “mosquito” dance to the song “Rosita”.  [LINK]

PHOTO : Governor Mark Dayton and the Okee Dokee Brothers take questions from preschool students. [LINK]

PHOTO : Preschool students from the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood Freedom School. [LINK]

"We are incredibly honored to have Governor Dayton, and the State of Minnesota, recognize our efforts in this way,” said Justin Lansing. “After all, it was the Minnesotan landscape and the outdoor culture here that inspired the songs on our album "Can You Canoe?"”

Lansing and Mailander, who live in Minneapolis, have been friends since childhood. As kids they often built makeshift rafts, went fishing, and dreamed of great river adventures. In the summer of 2011, Joe and Justin realized one of those boyhood dreams by canoeing from Minneapolis to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. During their 30-day paddle, the Okee Dokee Brothers camped, canoed, and composed songs for their hit album “Can You Canoe,” a nationally-renowned album that eventually earned them a Grammy Award – one of the highest honors in music.

"It is our hope that this music inspires Minnesotan families to get outdoors, get active and enjoy everything our state has to offer,” said Joe Mailander. “We are proud to call ourselves Minnesotan musicians and to be a part of the rich musical traditions here.”

Governor Dayton, who this year signed into law major new investments in early learning, all-day Kindergarten, and K-12 schools, praised the Okee Dokee Brothers for inspiring children to learn about and experience the wonders of the great outdoors.

“The Okee Dokee Brothers entertain and inspire young children with their music,” said Governor Dayton. “Even more, their music encourages children and families to get outside, and enjoy our natural beauty. I congratulate Joe and Justin for their outstanding achievements; and I thank them for inspiring young people in Minnesota and across our country.”

The proclamation issued today by Governor Dayton reads as follows:

WHEREAS:   The Minneapolis-based Okee Dokee Brothers, also known as Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander, share a passion for exploring nature that became a vital part of their critically acclaimed music; and

WHEREAS:   In 2011, The Okee Dokee Brothers canoed from the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Inspired by this month-long adventure on America’s greatest river, they wrote the songs for their award-winning album, “Can You Canoe?”; and

WHEREAS:   The Okee Dokee Brothers entertain and inspire with their unique Americana Folk music, encouraging children and families to get outdoors and experience the wondrous natural beauty that Minnesotans and people across the country are grateful to enjoy; and

WHEREAS:   The Okee Dokee Brothers have been recognized and celebrated by numerous groups and publications, winning multiple awards.  On February 10, 2013, the Okee Dokee Brothers’ album, “Can You Canoe?” won the Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards; and

WHEREAS:   The Okee Dokee Brothers combine their passions for music and nature with songs beloved by children and families across the country.  They inspire young people while showcasing the high quality of Minnesota’s musical talent.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, August 20, 2013 as: OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS DAY in the State of Minnesota.