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Welcome to the online home of Warren Nelson - Songwriter, Musician, Entertainer, Poet, Historian, Radio Host and a Tent-show "Man of the Cloth" with a career in show business lasting over 40 years.

A Fairmont, Minnesota native, Warren is the founder of Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and has led a team of talented musicians, actors, researchers and technicians in the creation of numerous large-scale, historical musicals since the 1970's.  He has had many honors bestowed upon him in his prolific career.

Here are some highlights:

1998 - Commissioned by the State of Wisconsin to write a musical for the state's sesquicentennial.

1999 - Voted "Best Folk Musician" by readers of Wisconsin Trails Magazine.

2005 - Awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree by the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and invited to give their spring commencement address.

2005 - Honored as an official Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters.

2006 - Honored with the first ever Wisconsin History Award from WI Historical Society for superb storytelling and unforgettable music to make history come alive for the thousands of people who have attended its (Big Top Chautauqua’s) performances.

2007 - Named "Minnesotan of the Year" for his outstanding contribution to the arts in Minnesota by the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers.

2008 - Given the Wisconsin Governor’s Award In Support of the Arts in partnership with Big Top Chautauqua.




Performance Schedule

Play Ball's Chautauqua Debut Was A Grand Slam!

Now Booking Tour Dates: info@warrennelson.com

"Warren Nelson is at the top of his game. Play Ball Is fabulous and well worth traveling to see!" - Dayle Quigley

For full information regarding upcoming performances, be sure to visit the Media page for times and contact information. If you would like to be informed of my future appearances and plans, please send your email address to: info@warrennelson.com

May 21 - Fairmont, MN
June 4 - Drummond, WI
June 11 - Bayfield, WI
June 24 - Bayfield, WI
June 25 - Bayfield, WI
July 3 - Bayfield, WI
July 10 - Spiderlake, WI
July 14-16 - Bayfield, WI


From Warren

APRIL 15 2016

Wide Awake Citizens!

As always thanks for coming to my website and thanks for supporting my shows and my music.  If it wasn’t for you where would I be?

The ice is out on the Big Lake and here we go.  I have a busy summer with my band including three shows at the Big Top.  The show “So Many Shows So Many Songs” will tell by song the history of the original shows under the tent.  Betty Ferris will be gathering the visuals. We will do at least one song from every show and there are 17 shows- wow! Big Top Chautauqua is the best idea I ever had and it turns 30 years old this summer.  My book Ballyhoo Backstage Big Top tells all and I hope you have a chance to read it. 

I am debuting a big show called “The Pond” on June 25 at Legendary Waters Casino in Red Cliff.  THIS IS THE SHOW I WANT YOU TO SEE THIS SUMMER- all my Lake Superior Songs.  Hopefully we will be appearing at Legendary Waters throughout the year.

I am most excited about performing Song For The Wild,  a show we debuted last year based on the writings of Sigurd Olson. I put music to his prose.  Playing Duluth on August 5 and then  Ely, gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, on August 6.   Hope to see you there! 

Ballyhoo,  WN


Warren Nelson Speaking © Sophia Hantzes