Friday, August 31 2018 • 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm • Prairie Meadows Courtyard

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The Des Moines Jazz Festival at The Des Moines Social Club





The Des Moines Register | Fred & Charlotte Hubbell
John & Penny Krantz | Neil & Debra Salowitz | Renewal by Andersen Des Moines


Click here for Friday & 2 Day Tickets
Click here for Saturday & 2 Day Tickets

Two Day Ticket – $25
Friday ticket – $10
Saturday ticket – $20
*Bring your own lawn chair, or rent one from us for $5 per day!


*All volunteers get FREE two-day passes!


Friday, August 31 | 5:00-10:00PM
*LOCATION CHANGED: Kum & Go Theater, 901 Cherry Street (due to inclement weather)
5:00PM: Doors Open
5:30PM: NOLA Jazz Band
7:00PM: Grand Ave Ruckus 
8:45PM: Bobby Watson Quartet

Saturday, September 1 | 1:00-10:00PM
Prairie Meadows Courtyard, 901 Cherry Street

1:00PM: Doors Open
2:00PM: Johnston High School Jazz Band
3:15PM: The Undertones
4:45PM: Heath Alan Band
6:15PM: Christian Howes
8:00PM: Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band



The headliner for the Des Moines Jazz Festival is the all-female Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band.

In June 2016, Shaye Cohn assembled an all-star, all-woman cast of traditional jazz musicians to perform for Girls Rock New Orleans. They had a blast playing together, and requests to play started pouring in. Shaye brought in Haruka Kikuchi and her Kid Ory-inspired trombone, and the six players — Haruka, Marla Dixon on trumpet, Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet, Molly Reeves on guitar, Julie Schexnayder on string bass and percussionist Dizzy Incirlioglu — have been gigging together ever since, in clubs around New Orleans and as far as Perugia, Italy. Their first 10-track record, Le Donne Mangiano Zucchero, was released in July. Shake‘Em Up is excited to head into the studio this year to record an album featuring women composers from the 1910s-1930s. 


The headliner for Friday is the Bobby Watson Quartet featuring Kansas City saxophone player and jazz legend Bobby Watson, Jr.

For more than three decades now Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, sensitive and well-thought out music to the modern-day jazz lexicon. All told, Watson, the immensely talented and now-seasoned veteran, has issued some 30 recordings as a leader and appeared on 100-plus other recordings, performing as either co-leader or in support of other like-minded musicians. Not simply a performer, the saxophonist has recorded more than 100 original compositions including the music for the soundtrack of A Bronx Tale, which marked Robert DeNiro’s 1993 directorial debut. Numerous Watson compositions have become classics such as his “Time Will Tell,” “In Case You Missed It” and “Wheel within a Wheel,” each now oft-recorded titles that are interpreted by his fellow musicians both on the bandstand and on other recordings.


Since 2011, performer, educator and composer, Christian Howes was voted #1 in the Downbeat Critics Poll (“Rising Stars/Violin”), named among the top three jazz violinists in the JazzTimes critics poll, and nominated for Violinist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association. He received the Residency Partner Award through Chamber Music America for residencies in school orchestras, earned a USArtists grant through the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was invited by the U.S. State department to teach and perform as a cultural ambassador in Ukraine and Montenegro. His 2013 release on Resonance Records, “Southern Exposure” earned recognition in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, Jazz Times, as well as a six-night run at Lincoln Center. His 2015 release, “American Spirit” was named among the Best Jazz Albums of 2015″ by the Huffington Post. Howes is the founder of “Creative Strings“, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to expand music education through the creation of online curriculum, an annual summer conference, and dozens of visits to schools annually teaching improvisation, contemporary styles, and related subjects.


Heath Alan (Pattschull) is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Des Moines, Iowa. Heath was nurtured and mentored by some of Iowa’s greatest talents including Patrick Hazell, Joe Price, Denny Garcia, Rush Cleveland, Roger Miller, Bob Dorr and Jonathan Schwabe. Heath was awarded the prestigious Liberace Music Grant (Yes – That Liberace) and inducted into the Yamaha Musicians Hall of Fame before he was 18 years of age. Heath studied music at UNLV and The University of Northern Iowa with Frank Gagliardi (Louis Armstrong), Felix Vesculia and composer Jonathan Schwabe. Heath has been an active musician in the midwest for the past 20 years. Heath was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his decade long run with Bob Dorr and The Blue Band. Heath has led his own band for the past ten years and is an active sideman and studio musician.


Led by Cole Peterson, The Undertones are a group of elite musicians from around the Des Moines metro area who try to push the boundaries of the traditional jazz quintet. All five members of the band have received statewide and regional recognition for their playing. Soulful and hard-hitting,The Undertones bring a combination jazz, funk, rock and pop that appeals to all age groups and demographics. Members of the band have played/studied with Dick Oatts, Ron Blake (Saturday Night Live Band), Damani Phillips, and Ron Carter.


Members of the local Johnston High School Jazz Band will perform various numbers that they’ve been working on.

Photo by Alyssa Leicht


Who’s Ready For A Ruckus? Grand Ave Ruckus is the Midwest’s newest brass band, and they’re here to bring the boogie from the bayou here to the heartland. Taking inspiration from New Orleans’ best brass bands to the Jackson 5, Grand Ave Ruckus is a bombastic, get-down-and-dance, funk filled show. Featuring local Des Moines musicians, Grand Ave Ruckus covers your favorite tunes with a powerful, horn-driven performance. Screaming trumpets, wailing saxophones, and a big bottom end give Grand Ave Ruckus their one-of-a-kind sound. Grand Ave Ruckus is always a party, and it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss!


NOLA is a Des Moines-based traditional New Orleans-style jazz band that has developed a strong and loyal following. The NOLA Jazz Band has played alongside a number of well-known traditional jazz and music groups this past year including Davina & the Vagabonds, Sony recording artist trumpet player and singer Bria Skonberg, and Dom Flemons of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Individual band members have also shared the stage with Vincent Gardner, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman, Kurt Elling, and many other well know jazz artists during their careers. NOLA Jazz Band members have also been inducted into the Iowa Jazz Hall of Fame, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


All volunteers get in for free!