jazz in july


Metro Arts Jazz in July: More than just a concert series.



For more than three decades, Metro Arts Jazz in July is the city’s longest-running concert series that engages area residents in new music, while promoting Iowa musicians and the American legacy and art form of jazz.

Many of the concerts now include food vendors, artists selling their work, and hands-on arts activities for children, turning each concert into a community festival celebrating live, outdoor jazz.

Great music, along with inviting neighborhoods and parks, keeps people coming back year after year to Metro Arts Jazz in July concerts. 2017 marks the 35th year for this month-long family-friendly festival celebrates jazz and art with free outdoor concerts across Greater Des Moines.

Brought to the community in partnership with neighborhood groups and corporate sponsors, the concerts feature both local musicians and national acts with Iowa ties. Food vendors, visual artists, and children’s activities add to the fun. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets every July to join us for the ultimate summer music experience!

Each year, music groups from across Iowa apply to be part of the series. All acts perform 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  The following bands have been selected for the 34th year of Jazz in July:

Download a printable PDF of 2016 Jazz in July Schedule.

The selected list combines respected previous performers with many new groups to Jazz in July, allowing music lovers to explore new sounds.

The Application process is now closed for Bands and Sites to be a part of 2017 Jazz in July. Check back in November 2017 for 2018 applications.

All Jazz in July concerts are free thanks to the generous support of its sponsors. Thanks to our event sponsors, Jazz in July is presented free to the public. More than 14,000 Central Iowa residents participated in Metro Arts Jazz in July.

jazz in july history

For 35 years, Metro Arts Jazz in July has matched talented area musicians with interesting community and corporate destinations. Metro Arts Jazz in July is Iowa’s longest-running summer music festival and the only festival to focus exclusively on jazz. The series evolves every year, responding to the community’s needs and requests, while keeping its greatest traditions.  This summer’s concert series will feature a dynamic mix of old favorites and fresh..

In 2016, the series has hired 148 musicians at 16 sites across the metro area, all at no charge to the public. Junior Jazz combos, made up of high school and college studentsare included in that number.  Held in partnership with neighborhood sites, Metro Arts Jazz in July concerts expose residents to new music and local musicians, all while promoting the American legacy and art form of jazz.

Metro Arts Jazz in July is part of Metro Arts Alliance’s mission, which is to advance creativity and strenghten our community by educating and enriching the development of children and adults through schools, organizations, senior center, and collaborating with other community partners.  We create opportunities that provide lifelong access and engagement in the arts for all. Metro Arts Alliance works to educate the community on the value of the arts and to make the arts accessible to everyone.

jazz in july posters over the years

upcoming jazz in july concerts

Jazz in July - Christophers Very Happy.Band. at Urbandale Lions

Jazz in July - Christopher's Very Happy.Band. at Urbandale Lions

Jul 4, 6:30pm - Jul 4, 8:00pm

Lions Park
Urbandale, IA  50322 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!


A little information about the band:
The four members of Christopher's Very Happy. Band. www.christophersveryhappyband.com/ (Christopher Merz, saxophone, composer; Michael Conrad, piano; Drew Morton, bass; Dave Tiede, drums) all have musical interests beyond jazz, including traditional and electronic pop, rock, soul, and classical. This project is an attempt to bring together all of the music we love into one satisfying whole. It's our fondest wish that this music leaves the audience as happy as the band. Very Happy. Indeed. Our debut CD, We Are Bathed in Sunlight, is available on Real!town Records. Listen to Christopher's Very Happy. Band. www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKPybL-_PKY&list=PLFWU-sANa53_s8uL_oDOpOJB1BU9oaOtx
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9 interested  ·  1 going
Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jul 5, 11:30am - Jul 5, 1:00pm

Cowles Commons
300 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA  50309 Map

Join us for the Lunchtime Series presented by Bankers Trust, and enjoy a casual performance during the noon hour.

Coming from the downtown or East Village area? Leave your car parked and hop on DART’s free-to-ride D-Line and get dropped off at Cowles Commons. The D-Line runs approx. every 10 minutes with stops nearly every block on Grand, Locust, and Walnut. ridedart.com/routes/shuttles/42-d-line-downtown
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67 interested  ·  2 going
Jazz in July - Rose Colella Cocktail at Terrace Hill

Jazz in July - Rose Colella "Cocktail" at Terrace Hill

Jul 6, 6:30pm - Jul 6, 8:00pm

Terrace Hill Foundation
2300 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA  50312 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!


A little information about the band:
Described as "cooly coquettish" and "beautiful and inviting", Rose Colella rosecolella.com/index/ performs regularly at Chicago's top jazz clubs, including The Jazz Showcase and The Green Mill, alongside the city's finest jazz musicians, as well as for corporate events and weddings. She owns the entertainment agency Lola Bard Productions, named for her grandmother, a 1930s vocalist who performed and recorded with Bobby Hackett & The Original Dixieland Jazz Band. In addition to performing, Rose also holds the position Music Department Chair at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she teaches jazz voice and piano, and teaches jazz master classes at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University. Listen to Rose Colella. www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn2Q3cGNM5k
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16 interested
Jazz in July - Dave Rezeks Alpha State Agents at Bondurant

Jazz in July - Dave Rezek's Alpha State Agents at Bondurant

Jul 7, 6:30pm - Jul 7, 8:00pm

101 Grant St N, Bondurant, IA 50035-1030, United States

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Prairie Meadows for being Bondurant's Site Sponsor!


A little information about the band:
A Des Moines native, versatile trumpeter Dave Rezek www.daverezekmusic.com/ is a much sought after private teacher, clinician, festival adjudicator, front/sideman, and guest artist with colleges and high schools. He's on the faculty of Susie Miget's Creative Music Studio, and trumpeter/bandleader for the Des Moines Big Band, performing every Wednesday night at Noce Jazz & Cabaret Club. On Friday, July 7th, he'll present his original music septet, Dave Rezek's Alpha State Agents. Hear their sound. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qgqH6EM9jU
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10 interested  ·  2 going
Jazz in July - Parranderos Latin Combo at Dallas Center

Jazz in July - Parranderos Latin Combo at Dallas Center

Jul 8, 5:30pm - Jul 8, 8:00pm

Mound Park, Dallas Center
Dallas Center, IA  50063 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!

5:30 to 6:00 - Dallas Center Grimes HS jazz combo Junior Jazz
6:30 to 8:00 - Parranderos Latin Combo

A special treat also taking place is Art in the Park - come back for details, it will be a great extended event!



A little information about the band:
Parranderos Latin Combo (PLC) parranderoslatincombo.com/ is a Latin music group based in Des Moines. The group’s self-titled debut album includes nine original songs written in Iowa and recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Grammy award-winning engineers Ramon Martinez and Carlos Velazquez. This collaboration between the 14 musicians from South America, the Caribbean, and the Midwest, was funded in part by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for The Arts. Exploring musical styles such as Salsa, Cumbia, Samba and more, Parranderos Latin Combo keeps Latin music alive and diverse in Iowa and beyond. Here's more from PLC. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyrd-noGWu0
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83 interested  ·  23 going
Jazz in July - Freddy Gazzo Band GDM Botanical Garden

Jazz in July - Freddy Gazzo Band GDM Botanical Garden

Jul 9, 5:30pm - Jul 9, 8:00pm

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA  50309 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!
5:30 to 6:00 - Drake jazz combo Junior Jazz
6:30 to 8:00 - Freddy Gazzo Band

17 interested
Jazz in July- Lunchtime Series Concert at Bankers Trust WDM

Jazz in July- Lunchtime Series Concert at Bankers Trust WDM

Jul 12, 11:30am - Jul 12, 1:00pm

Bankers Trust 60th
620 S 60th St
West Des Moines, IA  50266 Map

Join us for the Lunchtime Series presented by Bankers Trust, and enjoy a casual performance during the noon hour.

19 interested  ·  4 going
Jazz in July - High Society Big Band at Wesley Acres

Jazz in July - High Society Big Band at Wesley Acres

Jul 13, 6:30pm - Jul 13, 8:00pm

Wesley Acres
3520 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA  50312 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Wesley Acres for also being the Site Sponsor!


A little information about the band:
High Society Big Band www.highsocietybigband.com/ recreates the swinging jazz sounds of the Big Band Era, performing compositions that span an entire century of music. In its over 20-year history, the ensemble has performed for corporations, weddings, casinos, town festivals, fundraisers, and international dignitaries. Great for dancing or just listening, each of the tunes in its over 400 chart repertoire will take you to when the big bands were king! Listen to High Society Big Band. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy1TyoPDPj4
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12 interested  ·  4 going
Jazz in July - Scott Davis Quartet at Evelyn K. Davis Park

Jazz in July - Scott Davis Quartet at Evelyn K. Davis Park

Jul 14, 6:30pm - Jul 14, 8:00pm

Evelyn K Davis Park
1500 Forest Ave
Des Moines, IA  50314 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Principal for being the Diversity Sponsor of this site!


A little information about the band:
Scott Davis, www.scottdavismusic.com/ a native of Des Moines, is a trumpet and flugelhorn player leading the Scott Davis Quartet. For over a decade, the group had a once-a-month appearance at the Cosmopolitan Lounge in the old Suites On Locust Hotel. The quartet has also appeared in a number of Jazz in July performances, including a tribute to Louis Armstrong in 2008. Scott Davis was elected into the Community Jazz Center Hall of Fame in 2012. Featured performers for Jazz in July 2017 include Rob Annum and Scot Sutherland. Listen to the quartet. www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiVDtZ4mbLg
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21 interested  ·  3 going
Jazz in July - The NOLA Jazz Band at 6th Avenue Corridor

Jazz in July - The NOLA Jazz Band at 6th Avenue Corridor

Jul 15, 6:30pm - Jul 15, 8:00pm

6th Avenue Corridor
6th Ave
Des Moines, IA  50314 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Principal for being the Diversity Sponsor of this site!


A little information about the band:
The current iteration of the NOLA Jazz Band www.facebook.com/NolaJazzBand/ has been playing regularly since March 2015. On that date, the band started their “New Orleans Jazz Party” every first Friday of the month at the Des Moines Social Club, playing regularly to a packed house. All band members have a common love for the sound and “feel” of both traditional and current New Orleans based music: real, gutsy, raw, heartfelt, and entertaining. The NOLA Jazz Band has played alongside a number of well-known traditional jazz and music groups, and many band have also been inducted into the Iowa Jazz Hall of Fame, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The band's first CD, NOLA Jazz Band Vol. I – Genesis—Live from the ARK, was released in 2016. Take a listen. www.youtube.com/watch?v=97njbVj7iho
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77 interested  ·  8 going
Jazz in July - Bryan Schumacker Quintet at Norwalk City Park

Jazz in July - Bryan Schumacker Quintet at Norwalk City Park

Jul 16, 5:30pm - Jul 16, 8:00pm

Metro Arts Alliance
3209 Ingersoll Ave, Ste 208
Des Moines, IA  50312 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your Neighborhood! Special thanks to Bill Wright of CBRE Hubbell Commercial for being the Site Sponsor of this concert!

5:30 to 6:00 - UNI jazz combo Junior Jazz
6:30 - 8:00 - Bryan Schumacker Quintet


A little information about the band:
The Bryan Schumacker Quintet (Bryan Schumacker, saxophones; Dave Rezek, trumpet; Jason Danielson, piano; Dave Altemeier, bass; and Mark Grimm, drums) features musicians who span the country, hailing from the East Coast, Texas, and central Iowa. They come together for you to perform some jazz of the west coast flavor. Individually, they've performed with artists such as Tierney Sutton and Aretha Franklin, along with performances at the Tony Awards and Montreux Jazz Festival. Listen to the Bryan Schumacker Quintet. drive.google.com/file/d/0B0f3thCaxPPwNUhGSHc0aF9CeEE2Q08tazBKOUNKYlJocnp3/view
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5 interested  ·  1 going
Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jul 19, 11:30am - Jul 19, 1:00pm

Cowles Commons
300 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA  50309 Map

Join us for the Lunchtime Series presented by Bankers Trust, and enjoy a casual performance during the noon hour.

Coming from the downtown or East Village area? Leave your car parked and hop on DART’s free-to-ride D-Line and get dropped off at Cowles Commons. The D-Line runs approx. every 10 minutes with stops nearly every block on Grand, Locust and Walnut. ridedart.com/routes/shuttles/42-d-line-downtown
... See MoreSee Less

8 interested  ·  2 going
Jazz in July - Foxtrot Hot Shots at Hoyt Sherman Place

Jazz in July - Foxtrot Hot Shots at Hoyt Sherman Place

Jul 20, 6:30pm - Jul 20, 8:00pm

Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave
Des Moines, IA  50309 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!


A little information about the band:
The Foxtrot Hot Shots www.facebook.com/Foxtrot-Hot-Shots-1044087225664636/ feature six of central Iowa’s finest performers of Prohibition-era jazz and popular music. Foxtrots, “hot jazz,” show tunes, novelty tunes—all performed with the infectious, two-beat bounce of the Roaring Twenties. Drawing upon decades of experience performing in Dixieland bands and musical theater, the members of the Foxtrot Hot Shots deliver a program of musical gems that is irrepressibly upbeat, clever, and fun. Take a listen: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kDYeyLWsNs&feature=youtu.be
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10 interested  ·  2 going
Jazz in July - John Morgan Orchestra at Drake University

Jazz in July - John Morgan Orchestra at Drake University

Jul 21, 6:30pm - Jul 21, 8:00pm

Drake University

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Drake University for also being the Site Sponsor of this concert!


A little information about the band:
The John Morgan Orchestra debuted at the Val Air Ballroom in 1985 and has grown to be a Midwest regional favorite, celebrating the era of big band music. Bandleader and Iowa native Morgan is an accomplished reedman, singer, and arranger, and received special recognition from the Des Moines Jazz Hall of Fame. As a solo artist, Morgan toured nationally with the Russ Morgan Orchestra. The Orchestra performs in ballrooms across five states and at many private parties, including the Governor's Inaugural Balls. Morgan encourages everyone to celebrate this special era of music, and if you feel the urge to dance, by all means, do! Here's more of the John Morgan Orchestra. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RNh7mRO-JY
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7 interested  ·  1 going
Jazz in July - The Tighten Up at Waveland Golf Course

Jazz in July - The Tighten Up at Waveland Golf Course

Jul 22, 5:30pm - Jul 22, 8:00pm

Waveland Golf Course
4908 University Ave
Des Moines, IA  50311 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!
5:30 to 6:00 - CJC combo Junior Jazz
6:30 to 8:00 - The Tighten Up


A little information about the band:
Funky. R n' B. Soul. Jazz. Whoopty Doo! Based in Des Moines, The Tighten Up www.facebook.com/thetightenuphornband/ melds a fantastically unique blend of soulful vocals, jazz horn lines, and danceable grooves to produce music that is both interesting and fun. Members lay it down for this multiracial rhythm and blues-horn band in the tradition of James Brown, Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the soul music of the '60s and '70s. Listen to The Tighten Up. www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCNGkCVO1_U
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95 interested  ·  13 going
Jazz in July - The Jazz Page - Terra Lake Amphitheater, Johnston

Jazz in July - The Jazz Page - Terra Lake Amphitheater, Johnston

Jul 23, 5:30pm - Jul 23, 8:00pm

Terra Park
6300 Pioneer Pkwy
Johnston, IA  50131 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to John Deere Financial for being the Site Sponsor of this concert!

5:30 to 6:00 - Johnston HS jazz combo Junior Jazz
6:30 to 8:00 - The Jazz Page


A little information about the band:
Wayne Page formed The Jazz Page 12 years ago and plays clubs, weddings, social receptions, and events such as the Des Moines Arts Festival and Metro Arts Jazz In July. The group is comprised of amazing jazz artists who are also ultimately committed to education. The Jazz Page performs straight ahead jazz including the music of Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, and Jerry Mulligan. You'll also hear some contemporary originals composed by members of the band. In addition to performances with his quartet, Wayne has been busy playing duet venues including Louie’s Wine Dive and The Lift. This year, the group features David Altemeier, bass; John Kizilarmut, drums; and Tanner Taylor, piano. Hear more from The Jazz Page. www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_mbWFGzdxA
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5 interested  ·  3 going
Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jazz in July - Lunchtime Series Concert at Cowles Commons

Jul 26, 11:30am - Jul 26, 1:00pm

Cowles Commons
300 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA  50309 Map

Join us for the Lunchtime Series presented by Bankers Trust, and enjoy a casual performance during the noon hour.

Coming from the downtown or East Village area? Leave your car parked and hop on DART’s free-to-ride D-Line and get dropped off at Cowles Commons. The D-Line runs approx. every 10 minutes with stops nearly every block on Grand, Locust and Walnut. ridedart.com/routes/shuttles/42-d-line-downtown
... See MoreSee Less

35 interested  ·  3 going
Jazz in July - Betsy Hickok Quartet at Ankeny Bandshell

Jazz in July - Betsy Hickok Quartet at Ankeny Bandshell

Jul 27, 6:30pm - Jul 27, 8:00pm

Ankeny Bandshell
410 W 1st Street
Ankeny, IA  50023 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood!


A little information about the band:
Vocalist Betsy Hickok www.facebook.com/hickokjazz/ performs engaging, sensitive, and swinging interpretations of jazz standards. With some of Iowa's top musicians, she's performed in the Des Moines Metro Arts Jazz in July series, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, and many other regional venues. A review for her 2006 album, Body and Soul, states, “Betsy Hickok boasts a cool, clearwater delivery, impeccable timing, and the knowing gift for phrasing that can only come from a long, loving immersion in classic jazz.” She's currently working on a new CD project with guitarist and husband Ron Roberts. By day, she's director of communication at the Iowa State University Foundation, and holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Listen to Betsy Hickok. www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7Ru8O74mXQ
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6 interested  ·  1 going
Jazz in July - Max Wellman 7 at Copper Creek Lake Park

Jazz in July - Max Wellman 7 at Copper Creek Lake Park

Jul 28, 6:30pm - Jul 28, 8:00pm

Copper Creek Lake
4390 E University Ave
Pleasant Hill, IA  50327 Map

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Riley Resource Group for being the Site Sponsor of this concert!


A little information about the band:
Whether it is at Chicago’s stunning Drake Hotel or the historic Hoyt Sherman Place Theater, vocalist Max Wellman maxwellmanmusic.com/ is enticing music lovers throughout the region. With a sound evoking the likes of Sinatra and Connick, whether with his jazz trio or his big band, Wellman's performances present his talent on a grand scale. Over the years, Wellman has had recorded success with his Comes Love EP (2009) and Max Wellman Live with His Big Band (2010) was met with rave reviews, as was You Must Believe In Spring (2014). He also routinely sells out his Songbook Project subscription service—a project that sheds light on dozens of treasured standards every year. Coming off the release of his full-length big band album, Just in Time, Wellman is serving as the first entertainment director at Noce, a state-of-the-art new jazz club in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Hear more of Max Wellman. maxwellmanmusic.com/video
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57 interested  ·  15 going
Jazz in July Finale at Valley Junction Railroad Park

Jazz in July Finale at Valley Junction Railroad Park

Jul 29, 5:00pm - Jul 29, 10:00pm

Free outdoor concert LIVE from your neighborhood! Special thanks to Sammons Financial Group for being the Site Sponsor of this concert!

5:00 to 6:00 - Valley HS jazz combo Junior Jazz
6:30 to 8:00 - Blake Shaw Quintet
8:30 to 10:00 - The 'Ceptet


A little information about the band:
Double bassist, vocalist, composer, and arranger Blake Shaw blakeshawbass.com brings a wide variety of inspiration to the table. In his own project, The Blake Shaw Quintet (BSQ), he not only showcases his original compositions, but also adds a mix of jazz-influenced arrangements of recognizable tunes. From The Animals to Nirvana and Ray Charles to Sarah Vaughn, genre mixing is Shaw's inspiration. BSQ also contains Nolan Schroeder, Ryan Smith, Chris Jensen, and Dan Padley. Take a listen. youtu.be/jIjNGIDI-1I

The ‘Ceptet is an exciting project featuring original music by bassist David Altemeier, pianist Jason Danielson, and trombonist Brian Martin, all former Northern Iowa jazz students. The band covers a wide range of fresh and classic styles and features some of the area’s finest musicians from their home base of Noce. Featuring four horns and rhythm section, the band provides an expressive vehicle in a setting that combines the best of small and large ensembles. Here’s more from The 'Ceptet. www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMfCX25vi6U&list=PLKTP954oGGqmSmilHtd9oSf0E4jm4JDrD
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97 interested  ·  8 going

get in touch with us

Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines
3209 Ingersoll Ave. Suite 208, Des Moines, IA 50312
info@MetroArts.org
515.280.3222

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