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. Now in its 34th year, 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.

  • 7/4 – Soya Vista Jazz Orchestra at Urbandale Lion’s Park, Urbandale  + new band
  • 7/7 – Tanner Taylor Trio at Principal Park/Iowa Cubs, Des Moines + new band * new site
  • 7/8 – The Jazz Page at the Bondurant Trailhead, Bondurant
  • 7/9 – Jeff Miguel Quartet at Evelyn K. Davis Park, Des Moines + new band
  • 7/10 -Blake Shaw Quintet at City Park, Norwalk + new band
  • 7/14 – John Morgan Orchestra at Wesley Acres, Des Moines
  • 7/15 – Parranderos Latin Combo at La Placita on East Grand and E. 15th, Des Moines
  • 7/16 – Rose Colella ‘Cocktail’ at Waveland Golf Course, Des Moines + new band
  • 7/17 – Freddy Gazzo Band at Des Moines Public Library – Central, Des Moines * new site
  • 7/21 – Christopher’s Very Happy.Band. at DMACC West Campus, West Des Moines * new site
  • 7/22 – Bryan Shumacker Quartet at Jester Park, Granger + new band   * new site
  • 7/23 – The Tighten Up at 6th Avenue and Washington, Des Moines
  • 7/24 – Damani Phillips with Strings at Johnston Commons, Johnston + new band
  • 7/28 – Tina Haase Findlay with the Alex Murphy Jazz Trio of Chicago at Copper Creek Lake Park, Pleasant Hill + new band
  • 7/29 – High Society Big Band at Grand View University, Des Moines * new site
  • 7/30 – Finale: Whitney Marchelle + new band; The Nola Jazz Band at Valley Junction, West Des Moines * new site

Check out some of the previous year’s concerts!

    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 2016 Jazz in July.   Check back in November 2016 for 2017 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 33 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, including a Finale Festival at West Glen Town Center on August 1, 2015.

    In 2015, the series has hired 147 musicians at 17 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 - Bryan Schumaker Quartet

    Jazz in July - Bryan Schumaker Quartet

    Jul 22, 6:30pm - Jul 22, 8:00pm

    Jester Park Campground
    Granger, IA  50109 Map

    Bryan Schumacker formed a quartet with three local favorites - Dave Altemeir on bass, Jim Ekof on percussion, and Tanner Taylor on keys. Together, the four musicians have a wide range of music experience from jazz, R&B, blues, symphonic, and pop that you can expect to hear during this fun performance by the quartet!... See MoreSee Less

    Jazz in July - The TIghten Up

    Jazz in July - The TIghten Up

    Jul 23, 6:30pm - Jul 23, 8:00pm

    6th Avenue Corridor
    Des Moines, IA  50314 Map

    The Tighten Up is a horn band influenced by the music of James Brown, Tower of Power, and Earth Wind & Fire. Join Drake University as they sponsor a night of rhythm and blues, rock, and jazz! To view more about the band, visit its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thetightenuphornband/timeline.... See MoreSee Less

    Jazz in July - Damani Phillips with Strings

    Jazz in July - Damani Phillips with Strings

    Jul 24, 5:30pm - Jul 24, 8:00pm

    Johnston Public Library
    6700 Merle Hay Rd
    Johnston, IA  50131 Map

    John Deere Financial presents saxophonist Damani Phillips and his string quartet for an evening of funk, bossa nova, swing, and hip hop! Damani is currently a music professor at the University of Iowa and is well-known as a performer, pedagogue, and composer. The collaboration with strings, Quartet 515, perfectly bridges the classical and jazz gap and is sure to captivate you. To read more about Damani, visit his website: www.damaniphillips.com/

    At 5:30, hear the Johnston High School Jazz Band as part of our junior jazz performances!
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    Jazz in July - Tina Haase Findlay and Friends

    Jazz in July - Tina Haase Findlay and Friends

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

    Copper Creek Lake, Pleasant Hill

    Come join the Riley Resource Group as they sponsor a fun-filled evening with Tina Haase Findlay and Friends. Tina is an Iowa native who's been performing in the Des Moines music scene for more than 25 years. Since Tina was 3 years old, she's performed jazz, blues, rock, soul, gospel, and musical theater.... See MoreSee Less

    Jazz in July - High Society Big Band

    Jazz in July - High Society Big Band

    Jul 29, 6:30pm - Jul 29, 8:00pm

    1800 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA

    Grand View University is bringing in 16-piece High Society Big Band, for a night of swing! Don't forget your dancing shoes, as they'll be sure to get you on your feet with music from Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and more! The band consists of five saxophones, three trombones, four trumpets, bas, keyboard, drums, and vocalists. Visit their website for more information: www.highsocietybigband.com/... See MoreSee Less

    Jazz in July Finale

    Jazz in July Finale

    Jul 30, 5:00pm - Jul 30, 10:00pm

    Come join us for the big finale and celebrate a great month of jazz! You don't want to miss these performances!

    5:00-6:00 - Junior Jazz

    6:30-8:00 - Whitney Marchelle
    International recording, songwriting, and education artist, Whitney Marchelle Jackson has a style unlike any other as she brings together contemporary, traditional jazz, bebop, R&B, and folk genres. She's performed with many artists including Herbie Hancock, Wycliffe Gordon, and more. Learn more: www.whitneymarchelle.com/home2.html

    8:30-10:00 - The NOLA Jazz Band
    Formed in 2013, the NOLA Jazz Band perfoms new and old New Orleans-inspired music. Together, the band members have played for years locally, in various big bands, on cruise ships and recently, have been performing the first Friday of the month at the Des Moines Social Club, often to sold out shows. View more information on the band: www.facebook.com/NolaJazzBand/
    ... See MoreSee Less

    get in touch with us

    Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines
    3209 Ingersoll Ave. Suite 208, Des Moines, IA 50312


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