AUGUST 30, 2016

Dick Oatts returns to Des Moines with a sax or two. Photo: Wolfgang Schottstaedt.

Des Moines Social Club is producing a two-day jazz festival Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 and 3, showcasing 11 jazz groups on stages indoors and outside on the club's courtyard.
This inaugural Des Moines Jazz Festival is a response to the success of the club's happy-hour jazz programs, says Mickey Davis, program director at DMSC.
"I am constantly impressed with the reception our jazz programming receives," Davis says, "and I'm excited to now have a signature event each year to celebrate that community."
Headliners for the festival include two prominent musicians with Iowa ties: 
  • Iowa native Dick Oatts attended Drake University before moving to New York in the 1970s and becoming an arranger, bandleader and recording artist who has accompanied such notable singers as Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • Performer and composer Bill Stewart, a Des Moines native and UNI grad, made his name in the '90s in John Scofield's band. He's also played with Maceo Parker and Jim Hall. Stewart is the son of well-known Des Moines choral leader Carol Stewart. 
The music starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. with the NOLA Jazz Band New Orleans Happy Hour followed by the Lacona Trio.
Saturday's main stage in the courtyard is packed with performances from The Dick Oatts Quintet;The Bill Stewart, Peter Bernstein & Larry Goldings Trio; Ritmocano; Christopher's Very Happy Band; and the Synergy Nonet. Also on Saturday, local high school jazz groups will perform in the club's Kum & Go Theater. The festival ends on a high note -- a late night jam sessions in the Basement. Click here for a complete schedule and other details.
Admission is $10 ($50 for a VIP ticket that includes a jazz brunch on Saturday, plus reserved seating and other VIP perks). Tickets are available here.
A modest deck with basic functionality is transformed into an entertainment magnet. Now more friends and family congregate here to enjoy the amazing view! ... Read More »
Remember this? Iowa in her infancy. Isn't she adorable? Still has that new-state smell.


When cars carried accordion-fold paper maps, the newest ones were most valuable. Today, Siri is more likely to guide your route. Antique maps are more likely to make you rich. And the price goes up with each mention of "cartography," the ancient art of map-making.
Christopher Lane is the big dog in life's kennel of expertise on the subject. Lane is often the go-to guy when someone brings an old map to Public Television's "Antiques Roadshow" program. Lane scrutinizes every jot and tittle of the sometimes fanciful, sometimes faulty mapmaker's art.
Lane will present a program on the subject Thursday, Sept. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Kent Campus Center of Simpson College in Indianola. Among other subjects, Lane will discuss map collecting, focusing on early maps of North America, the Midwest and Iowa. Specific attention will be given to the maps on exhibit in the Kent Campus Center, "Iowa and the Midwest: An Exhibition of Antique Maps," including some that predate even Gov. Branstad. For additional information, call 515-961-1528.
The radiator grilles, headlamps and other details changed among Packards from the 1920s and '30s, but the swan hood ornament spanned decades. Photo: Brent Isenberger.

The luster of lacquer, the gleam of chrome, the smell of wax with a whiff of oil, the throaty thrum of a smoothly idling engine--the annual Des Moines  Concourse d'Elegance is a sensory delight arising from a century of carefully, often lovingly, maintained automobiles.
The concourse will include a 1902 Haynes-Apperson, believed to have been the first automobile registered in Boone County and the 10th in Iowa. Motorcycle fans will enjoy seeing a 1914 Harley-Davidson V-twin. Another unusual entry: a 1909 Economy that has been in the same family for a staggering 107 years!
You can wander among about 160 of these beautifully restored vehicles parked around the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's free and fairly awesome. For a preview, see this story and gallery of photos from the new issue of dsm magazine. For even more info and photos, visit the event's website.
If Buddy Holly hadn't climbed into that plane after singing in Clear Lake, he'd be turning 80 tomorrow. This guy probably sounds better than Buddy would. Revisit the glory days.


Retro-rocker Billy McGuigan revives the music and style of Buddy Holly Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 8-11, at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. The show Rave On! includes all the Holly hits and pays homage to rock legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $25-$28 here.
Iowans Say Paw and her daughter, Esther, came here from Burma. Photo: Ben Easter.


LSI (Lutheran Services in Iowa) will hold its annual Empower Luncheon, which raises awareness and funds for refugee services, at Valley Community Center, 4444 Fuller Road in West Des Moines, on Thursday, Sept. 8, from noon to 1 p.m.
This year's Empower Luncheon will celebrate the skills and contributions of Des Moines' refugee community.
"Each year, hundreds of refugees resettle in Iowa and start the hard work of establishing themselves in their new community," says Nick Wuertz, director of LSI's Refugee Community Services. "LSI is proud to help our newest neighbors reach for their dreams by learning a new language, acclimating to our culture, starting businesses and obtaining citizenship."
Tickets to the luncheon are $50 per person, which includes a $35 tax-deductible donation to LSI. Registration will close Sunday, Sept. 4.

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