2017 Bands

Saints Dixieland Band

Saints Dixiland Band

For well over three decades, the Saints Dixieland Jazz Band has been an enthusiastic and highly successful musical organization. Since its auspicious beginnings in the garages and living rooms of Cedar Falls, Iowa, the band’s talent and love of New Orleans Jazz have created the opportunity to delight audiences from county fairs to festivals and concert halls. Steeped in the history and culture of mainstream traditional Jazz, the Saints Dixieland Jazz Band features a variety of styles from classic Dixieland to blues and swing music. The band’s repertoire of classic hits and arrangements of novelty songs from the twenties and thirties engages all age groups, and the infectious joy of Dixieland Jazz guarantees a swinging good time for all.

The Saints Dixieland Band was formed in 1973, and has been the host band of the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival in Cedar Falls, IA since its inception in 1978. In addition, the band has been featured at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, the Good Times Jazz Festival, the Valley Junction Jazz in July Series, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the Bluesmore Blues Music Festival in Cedar Rapids, the Elkhart (IN) Jazz Festival and the Lake Park Jazz Festival in Winona, MN. In 1988, the Saints appeared at the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee in California, the world’s largest and most prestigious traditional jazz festival. In 2003, the band was honored to open a concert appearance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The band had a long run of performances at Bill’s Drinking Establishment in Marion, as well as the Depot and the Olde Broom Factory in Cedar Falls.

Between festival and concert appearances, the Saints Dixieland Band stays sharp performing at nightclubs, private functions and casinos throughout eastern and central Iowa, including Bourbon Street in Cedar Falls and the Isle of Capri Casino in Waterloo.

The Saints Dixieland Band brings a deep understanding of the roots and traditions of Dixieland music to each performance, but what audiences take away is the band members’ obvious love of playing the world’s first truly American music – Jazz.

The Petra Van Nuis Quintet

Petra van Nuis is a Chicago-based jazz vocalist who has been described in Downbeat Magazine as having "a light, gorgeous, and fairly delicate voice...a gift for melody and plenty of rhythmic confidence."

A Chicagoan since 2003, Petra sings at all the finest jazz venues in town including the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Katerina's, Andy's Jazz Club, Fitzgerald's, the City Winery, the Old Town School of Folk Music, and the Chicago Cultural Center. Along with six other Chicago jazz artists, she was nominated for the "Best Jazz Entertainer 2013" for the 33rd Annual Chicago Music Awards.

The St. Louis Stompers

St. Louis Stompers is a classical jazz band that came forward from the independent city of St. Louis in 1981. Since their entrance into the mainstream entertainment industry, the jazz ensemble has been performing around the world. With its six members, currently the band consists of Pat Arana who plays the trombone, Jack Tartar who provides his ukulele and drums expertise, Dave Majchrzak on piano and keyboards. While Steve Lilley plays the Cornet, Mike Lilley provides his expertise on the clarinet and Dave Zink stages his artistic sousaphone in a magnificent routine. Together this jazz band has produced and released numerous records and albums including 'Stomps and Struts' that came forward in 2002, and 'Play that Thing' that was released in 2004. The group then released 'Old Favorites' also in 2004, 'The Music Goes Round' released in the year 2005, 'Alligator Swamp Stomp' brought to audiences in 2009 and their most recent album 'Playin' Around' was released in 2011. If you are a fan of this prolific jazz group, then you should consider attending their upcoming show, by purchasing your St. Louis Stompers tickets as soon as possible.

The Pelican Jazz Band

The Pelicans (formerly the Party Gras Classic Jazz Band) have performed New Orleans-infused jazz and blues throughout Iowa for over twenty years. During that time, they have played jazz festivals in Des Moines, Cedar Falls, and Clear Lake, as well as Music Under the Stars, Jazz in July, and the Salisbury House. The Pelican Jazz Band brings their audience the authentic sounds of the French Quarter. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

The Dandelion Stompers

The Dandelion Stompers bring you New Orleans jazz with all the trimmings. Start with a grade-A rhythm section, add a savory selection of horns, round out the mixture with hot and spicy vocals and you've got a recipe for Dandelion gumbo! Band members include:
Katie Roche – vocals
Chris Clark – baritone saxophone, vocals
Katie Greenstein – trumpet, vocals
Ira Greenstein – trombone, trumpet, pocket trumpet, vocals
Brandi Janssen – bass
Marc Janssen – guitar, vocals
Suzanne Smith – clarinet
Jacob Yarrow – alto saxophone


Trippin' Billies

Saturday June 24; 9PM

Born in the pubs on the north side of Chicago, reminiscent of Luther’s College, Trippin Billies took to the “stages” of these small rooms in the early nineties as an acoustic duo. It wasn’t long before lines grew to long for the small bars and calls started coming in from around the Midwest. As a result the band was forced to rise to the occasion, and they’ve done just that. Having the luxury of living in a city called home to many great musicians, Trippin Billies is comprised of some of Chicago’s best. This talent coupled with their mutual love of high energy performance has moved them above the bar band circuit and into concert settings. Whether it’s a club in Iowa City, a Hockey arena in North Dakota or a summer festival in Rochester, New York or Lincoln, Nebraska, the show is always the same, just that, a show.

William Elliott Whitmore

Friday June 23; 10PM

Known for the sparse, haunting qualities of the mostly solo recordings he refers to as “roots-folk music,” in which his voice is often accompanied by little more than a banjo or acoustic guitar, Whitmore began writing songs last year with some changes in mind. “I purposefully went into it wanting to make a little bit of a departure, sonically, using an electric guitar a little bit more and adding more instrumentation, more full-band type stuff,” he says.

Raised on a family farm in Iowa and inspired by the insurgent sounds of The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains and Minutemen, Whitmore sketched out the new songs between feeding animals and tending crops. Each week he traveled two hours to Flat Black Studios in Iowa City, built and operated by his cousin and producer, Luke Tweedy. Together, where they would rehearse, record and build songs, sometimes welcoming other musicians to play live on tracks.

Energized by this diversifying, and also given the space to pair a patient sense of craft with the usual punk rock spirit to which Whitmore has always paid homage, the songs on Radium Death hum with an exigent electricity—whether amplified or not. They also present a cohesive look into those recurring Whitmore themes of respect, protection, sustenance and survival.

The Maytags

Saturday June 24; 7PM

Grew up on the south side
Made friends with the east side
Made love on the north side
- Dustin Smith on Love Lines, the debut album from his band the Maytags.

These phrases are specific to the cultural geography of the singer, guitarist, and songwriter’s Des Moines, Iowa hometown, a music and arts community with a rising national profile highlighted by praise from the Talking Heads’ David Byrne and glowing explorations from Politico and The Atlantic. But Smith’s words also help evoke the Maytags’ journey to this sultry nine-song set, one that also runs through Smith’s time in New York — where studied jazz as a drummer — and the band’s recording sessions in Tennessee. Other band members have roots in St. Louis; all studied jazz, mainly in central and northern Iowa. If there can be a New South, then there can be a sound that’s Midwest Nouveau.

The Diplomats of Solid Sound

Friday June 23; 8PM

The Diplomats of Solid Sound is a soul group from Iowa City, IA that performs soul music with a modern garage band twist. The current members of the band are Doug Roberson on guitar, Nate Basinger on Hammond Organ, Paul Kresowik on drums and percussion, Eddie McKinley on sax, David Basinger on sax, Sarah Cram, Kathy Ruestow on vocals. In 2008 Diplomats released an album titled The Diplomats of Solid Sound Featuring The Diplomettes on Italian Funk/Soul/Groove label Record Kicks.


Saturday June 24; 5PM

Q&A is a high fidelity blend of rock and country. A Cedar Valley based four piece playing originals as well as covering artists from Paul Simon, to Pink Floyd, to Waylon Jennings.