By Michael Swanger


Singer-songwriter Joe Firstman, on tour promoting his new album, “El Porto,” performs an all-ages show on Friday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. Admission is $7.

Blues on Grand hosts a rare double billing of blues-rock guitarists when Joanne Shaw Taylor and Eric Sardinas perform on Friday, Feb. 5 at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

Four Year Strong, Strike Anywhere, This Time Next Year and Title Fight perform Friday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. for an all-ages show at the House of Bricks. Tickets are $12 through IowaTix.

The Synergy Jazz Foundation, a Des Moines-based non-profit organization, will host its next “Abersold Project” workshop/concert series, featuring saxophonist Ariel Alexander. On Saturday, Feb. 6, free workshops open to the public will be held at East High School. They include beginning improvisation (9 a.m.), a clinic with the East High School Jazz Band (11 a.m.) and a clinic with the East High School Jazz Combo (1 p.m.). The workshops will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. concert by Alexander at the Temple for the Performing Arts (tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors) with local jazz musicians Sam Salomone, Rob Messer, Eric Krieger. On Sunday, Feb. 7, Alexander will sit in with the Community Jazz Center’s Jam Session at Java Joe’s Coffeehouse from 2 to 4 p.m. And on Monday, Feb. 8, Alexander will perform with the Des Moines Big Band at 6:30 p.m. at the Adventureland Inn in Altoona (admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors). Visit

Four Letter Lie, Classic in the Making, Lovehatehero, Of Machines and Sleeping with Sirens perform an all-ages concert on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. at the House of Bricks. Tickets are $10 through IowaTix.

Trevor Hall performs an all-ages show on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. MTV has chosen Hall as one of the 20 emerging artists for 2010. Tickets are $12.

Coming to the Val Air Ballroom: The Dave Matthews Tribute Band on March 12 ($10) and the “Jagermeister Country Tour” featuring Eric Church and Josh Thompson on March 24 ($22.50). Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday, Feb. 5 through Ticketmaster.

The lineup for the 2010-11 Civic Music Association season includes Esperanza Spalding (Sept. 18), The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet (Oct. 1), a holiday concert by the Boston Brass & Brass All Stars Big Band (Dec. 4), Dave Holland Quintet (Jan. 22, 2011), Cantus (March 12, 2011) and the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet (April 8, 2011). Shows will be held at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium. Tickets are available through IowaTix.

Rapper Ludacris has been added as an opener for the Black Eyed Peas concert on March 25 at Wells Fargo Arena. LMFAO is also on the bill. Tickets are on sale now through Dahlstickets.

The Des Moines Music Coalition announced the date for the third annual 80/35 Music Festival were revealed at last week’s Backstage Ball fundraising event. This year’s event will take place on July 3-4 in the Western Gateway Park. Although no acts have been announced yet, Project Manager Amedeo Rossi stated, “The days will probably be a little fuller; I don’t know if we’ll start at noon or 2 p.m., but it will expand by a few more hours.”CV

Round Kick Gym

Best of Des Moines 2011

Fall Relish

Coupon Guide