Des Moines Performing Arts announced that single tickets to the PRAIRIE MEADOWS LIVE AT THE TEMPLE CONCERT SERIES will go on sale Friday, Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at DMPA.org, the Civic Center Ticket Office and by phone at 515-246-2300. All shows will be held at The Temple Theater.
VELVET CARAVAN October 12, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
This unorthodox, high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion and keyboards (including accordion) has, over the past few years, emerged as one of the shining lights of Savannah’s burgeoning music scene. In that time, the band has grown from a somewhat informal instrumental combo which routinely drew enthusiastic and loyal followers at raucous restaurant and bar gigs to a respected and admired touring act that’s as comfortable in an attentive listening room or large concert hall as they are in a crowded nightclub.
Velvet Caravan’s unique ability to subtly shift musical gears without sacrificing their integrity as composers and performers is rare indeed. This has resulted in an envelope-pushing group that’s just as successful at dazzling jaded cocktail drinkers as they are at commanding the rapt attention of serious music aficionados in whisper-quiet recital environments. Of late, the band has even taken things a step further, by mesmerizing and inspiring even the most finicky of schoolchildren through fun and engaging music educational programming.
RUTH MOODY BAND
Nov. 3, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.Ruth Moody is an Australian-born, two-time Juno Award winning singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada. Founding and current member of the internationally renowned, Billboard-charting trio The Wailin’ Jennys, she has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically-acclaimed albums, and has appeared more than a dozen times on the popular American radio show A Prairie Home Companion.
Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism, and insightful songwriting. Written with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and exquisitely crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably hers.
In 2010, Ruth released her first solo album, The Garden. Produced by David Travers-Smith, it was nominated for two Juno Awards, a Western Canadian Music Award and three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Its title track was the fourth most played song of 2010 on North American Folk Radio.
The Ruth Moody Band is Adrian Dolan on fiddle, mandolin, viola, mandola and vocals; Adam Dobres on guitars, ukulele and vocals; and Sam Howard on upright bass and vocals.
Jan. 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Gina Chavez is blending the sounds of the Americas with tension and grace. A multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, Chavez is a nine-time Austin Music Award winner — including 2015 Musician of the Year and Album of the Year for her sophomore release, Up.Rooted. Her independent album topped the Amazon and Latin iTunes charts following a national feature on NPR’s All Things Considered, and has been hailed by The Boston Globe, USA Today, Texas Monthly and the Austin Chronicle. Her band’s Tiny Desk concert made NPR’s top 15 of 2015.
Chavez’s passionate collection of bilingual songs take audiences on a journey through the Americas. Her Spanish-language anthem, “Siete-D” — which took home the Grand Prize in the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest — tells the story of her experience volunteering in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador where she and her partner founded Niñas Arriba, a college fund for young Latinas. The fund celebrated its first two college graduates in 2016. Gina and her band have performed in eight countries, touring as cultural ambassadors with the U.S. State Department.
THE QUEEN’S CARTOONISTS
Feb. 11, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The Queen’s Cartoonists are a jazz band specializing in music from cartoons. The music runs the gamut from lightning fast swing arrangements to sync’d video projections, vocal numbers, and comedy. Be prepared for music from classic Warner Bros. cartoons, early Disney films, cult cartoon classics, and modern animation. Featured composers include Raymond Scott, Carl Stalling, Danny Elfman, Alf Clausen, John Williams and countless adaptations of classical favorites!
Tying this diverse and challenging repertoire together are stories and anecdotes involving the cartoons and their composers. The band is on a musical mission of equal parts music preservation, education, and performance. The Queen’s Cartoonists tap into the rich tradition of cartoon music to bring a fun, cross-generational concert experience to any and all who will listen!
TQC has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and on NPR. They have been bringing their unique (yet nostalgic) sound to performing arts centers and schools all over the US.
March 8, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Nashville recording artist and songwriter, Danika Portz, is creating a buzz in Music City. Originally from Remsen, Iowa, Danika has been performing since the age of 6. Her mother recognized her talent at an early age and put together her first “tour” to all the local nursing homes at the age of 8 and started competing in competitions at the age of 9. From collegiate choirs to professional theatre companies, corporate events to state and county fairs, Danika is a seasoned veteran to the stage.
Since moving to Nashville, Danika has caught the attention of several record labels and publishers around town. Her distinctive sound and style is what sets her apart from the typical country act as her music has been described as a mixture of Mumford and Sons, Kacey Musgraves, and Katy Perry—with a voice on par with Norah Jones. Lyrically grounded in country music, yet unafraid to think outside the box melodically, Danika phrases things in such a way that grabs the listener and makes them want more.
In 2013, Danika signed a publishing and artist deal with Grin Like A Dog Songs in partnership with Green Hills Music Group, which is headed by former Sony VP, Woody Bomar, who during his tenure at Sony signed Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts and many more.
May 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit this Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.
South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the low-country’s most celebrated vocalists Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.
For additional information about the LIVE AT THE TEMPLE CONCERT SERIES, visit DMPA.org.