Dessa fell in love with language as a toddler---and she just never got over it. Coming up in Minneapolis, she collected favorite words to decorate the walls of her brain; as a teenager, she thrilled in metaphor; and when she started writing songs and touring, she'd always lean in to pick up on the regional slang (they say yinz instead of y'all in Pittsburgh; a beanie is a tuque in Canada; gotta ask for a lead to get mic cable in the UK). Now, Dessa works in most fields that traffic in words: she's recorded rap bangers as part of the fiercely independent Doomtree collective, released a live album with the Grammy-winning Minnesota Orchestra; contributed to The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler; delivered a TED talk on the intersection of romance and neuroscience that's notched more than 4 million views; hosted two seasons of the Deeply Human radio program (BBC/American Public Media/iHeartMedia); and published a memoir recounting most of the above called My Own Devices, published by Dutton (Penguin Random House). She lives in Minneapolis and Manhattan, still tours in a rented van, and is probably eavesdropping on the neighboring table, listening for a word to add to the collection.

Past Shows


Nov
16
th
2023
First Avenue
Nov
16
th
2023
First Avenue

Dessa

★ Local Show ★
with Lady Midnight
Oct
21
st
2022
First Avenue
Oct
21
st
2022
First Avenue

Dessa

with Open Mike Eagle
Sep
4
th
2022
Bayfront Festival Park
Sep
4
th
2022
Bayfront Festival Park

Water Is Life Festival

hosted by Winona LaDuke • featuring Ani DiFrancoIndigo GirlsAllison RussellTia WoodLOWDessaJoe Rainey SrKeith SecolaAnnie HumphreyDavid Huckfelt & The Unarmed ForcesCorey MedinaGaelynn Lea • emcee Thomas X
with D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and Quannah Chasinghorse
Feb
13
th
2022
First Avenue
Feb
13
th
2022
First Avenue

Dessa

with Mayyadda
Jul
9
th
2021
Turf Club
Jul
9
th
2021
Turf Club

Dessa

with Lady Midnight and King Pari
Jul
8
th
2021
Turf Club
Jul
8
th
2021
Turf Club

Dessa

with Lady Midnight and King Pari
Feb
27
th
2020
Mainroom
Feb
27
th
2020
Mainroom

Dessa

with MARGRET, roy kinsey, DJ Shannon Blowtorch and more!
May
22
nd
2019
The Fitzgerald Theater
May
22
nd
2019
The Fitzgerald Theater
Apr
6
th
2018
Mainroom
Apr
6
th
2018
Mainroom

Dessa

with MONAKR
Jan
31
st
2018
Clown Lounge
Jan
31
st
2018
Clown Lounge

Dessa

CLOWN LOUNGE (Turf Club basement)
Apr
18
th
2014
The Rex
Apr
18
th
2014
The Rex

Dessa

with Aby Wolf
Aug
11
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater
Aug
11
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater

SUMMER SET Music & Camping Festival

with Passion Pit, Girl Talk, BIG GIGANTIC and more!
Aug
10
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater
Aug
10
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater

SUMMER SET Music & Camping Festival

with Passion Pit, Girl Talk, BIG GIGANTIC and more!
Aug
9
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater
Aug
9
th
2013
Somerset Amphitheater

SUMMER SET Music & Camping Festival

with Passion Pit, Girl Talk, BIG GIGANTIC and more!
Jun
29
th
2013
Mainroom
Jun
29
th
2013
Mainroom

Dessa

with Zoo Animal
Mar
15
th
2013
SXSW 2013 DAY PARTY
Mar
15
th
2013
SXSW 2013 DAY PARTY

Field Report, Dessa, Solid Gold and more!

First Avenue, Majestic, and Etix present
Oct
28
th
2012
Mainroom
Sep
14
th
2012
Triple Rock Social Club
Sep
14
th
2012
Triple Rock Social Club

Saul Williams

with Dessa
Dec
6
th
2011
7th St Entry
Dec
6
th
2011
7th St Entry

Dessa

with Hannibal Buress and Crescent Moon + Big Trouble
Dec
15
th
2010
Mainroom

More Shows

May
14
th
7th St Entry

Babehoven

with Greg Mendez
May
27
th
7th St Entry

TimaLikesMusic Presents ⏤ That 90’s Love

Feb
24
th
Fine Line

Days Before Jazba

with DJ Nandu and DJ K.O.D
Apr
22
nd
7th St Entry

Your Neighbors

with dreamfone