2018 Season Preview

We're so excited to return to Central Park and break in the new stage! 

MAY 31, 7:00pm  - Jackie Myers

Jackie is a Grinnell College alum and a Music in the Park veteran. This will be her fifth time performing her groovy, soulful brand of jazz at the summer series. Along with a rhythm section from Iowa City, she’ll provide the perfect soundtrack the Grinnell community as well as alums of all ages back on campus for reunion. 

Listen to her most recent album HERE

JUNE 7 - 28, 7:00pm - Community Band

Our very own Community Band plays the entire month of June. They will perform a variety of marches, overtures, ballads, and show-tunes. Anyone can join the Community Band -- you show up and you play. It’s good ole, homegrown music-making with your neighbor! E-mail info@grinnellarts.org if you are interested in playing this season.

JUNE 7, 5:30pm - Too Many String Band

Too Many String Band will open the June 7 performance. Your favorite local folk group with their ever rotating line-up has earned a loyal following throughout their many years of performances. Playing both original material and folk standards, their mighty vocals and instrumentation are perfect for this summer series. Folks are encouraged to sing along! 

Listen to an original TMSB song! 

JUNE 14, 5:30pm- Mojo Machine

Perhaps the longest running band in Grinnell history (besides the various Community Bands), Mojo Machine has been performing in town and on campus since the early 90s. They play blues, rock, country, and all the songs that twist and blend those genres. They’ve had a recent surge in activity the past year, performing at the Stew, the Grinnell Pub, and Grinnell College reunion. Current members include Chris Sutliff (bass and vocals), Adam Berneman (drums), Neil Burkett (harmonica, guitar, vocals), and Craig Metz (guitar and vocals).

Listen to an original Mojo Machine song! 

JUNE 21, 5:30pm - Calle Sur

Karin Stein is an unsung hero of the Grinnell music community. She leads various ensembles that perform locally, regionally, and even internationally. Her most recent production Americas3 debuted to a sold-out audience in the Loft Theatre last year. This summer she’ll bring Calle Sur, her duo with longtime collaborator Ed East. They perform a variety of Latin music styles, from traditional to contemporary, both instrumentals and with vocals.

Hear music on their website

JULY 5, 5:30pm - Prairie Jewel Dixieland Band

Frank Heath leads this group. They perform tunes from Dixieland and the American Songbook. He is sort of the unofficial music historian of Grinnell, having published his own book on Iowa Bands, and was recently published in The Iowan magazine with an article about jazz pianist Floyd Bean who grew up in Grinnell. The current lineup has Heath on trombone, Harely Henry on clarinet, Bill Vosberg on tuba, Jack Deangelo on drums, and Royce Wolf on piano (though he’ll be away for this gig).

JULY 5, 7:00PM - Turlach Ur

Even if you haven’t seen them perform, you’ve probably at least heard Turlach Ur practicing outside in the warmer months. Grinnell’s own bagpipe and drum ensemble has won dozens of awards, both at home and abroad. Directed by Rob and Nancy Clower, Turlach Ur is truly an all-ages group, with members ranging from 10 - 60 years-old. They perform mostly traditional Scottish music, but are also known for their eclectic shows that incorporate bluegrass, folk, and other popular music samples.

Listen to  a Turlach Ur sample

JULY 12, 7:00pm - Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchman

Based in Mt. Vernon Iowa, Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen have been touring nationally since 1988. The polka group is led by accordion extraordinaire Becky Livermore. She’s known for performing without shoes, hence the band name, and even has her own annual polka festival in Amana, IA every June, called “Beckster Fest.”  They’re a constant favorite of this summer series, and the regulars know: dancing mandatory, shoes optional.

Visit Becky's website for videos and recordings

JULY 19, 5:30pm - Society of Broken Souls

This Fairfield, Iowa - based duo has played Grinnell many times over the years. They formerly went by the name Truckstop Souvenir, and often performed at Saint’s Rest. They have played at Relish more recently, under their new name, and draw a wide range of both old and new fans. Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter make up the duo -- both multi-instrumentalists and singers, both songwriters. They describe their music as “folk noir,” and indeed their original songs often have a dark undercurrent.

Listen to their new album (2018) here

JULY 19, 7:00pm - The Pines

The Pines’ members all grew up in Iowa, but founding members David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey actually first met by chance in Arizona. After discovering a musical kinship, the two moved their music project to Minneapolis. Benson’s brother Alex is the third member, and, being the sons of Iowa music veteran Bo Ramsey, the two grew up in a very musical household. The Pines first played in Grinnell in 2016, to a sold-out crowd in the Loft Theatre. Their haunting and spacey folk music made quite an impact on the audience, as people immediately began to request their return. We’re thrilled to welcome them back.

Music and more info on their website

JULY 26, 5:30PM Courtney Krause

Named by the DSM Register as one of 2018’s “Artists to Watch,” Courtney Krause has been making a name for herself in Iowa and all over the country for the past few years. She’s played both Little Big Fest and 80-35 in Des Moines, been featured on Iowa Public Radio, and released a full length in 2015.

Her second album Tie Your Tongue, Bite Your Lip will be released later this year. Her music is mostly folk, but like most young songwriters today, she doesn’t fit quite neatly into that description, borrowing from blues and rock and pop and pretty much any style that allows for good storytelling and memorable music. We’ll certainly be hearing more from Krause in the coming years -- don’t miss this chance to see her in Grinnell.

Listen to her new single (2018) here


JULY 26, 7:00M Christopher the Conquered

Christopher the Conquered is the stage name and persona of Iowa native Christopher Ford. Ford, who now lives in Denver, CO, has become a favorite in Grinnell after performing at the first Rurally Good Festival at Grin City Collective in 2013. He’s toured all over the United States and Europe, and garnered praise from listeners, media, and other artists (including Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ryan Adams).

His music, which he describes as “interstellar soul,” packs big ideas into easily-digestible songs that feature his powerful tenor voice and above-average piano playing. For this concert he’ll have a bass player and drummer, keeping the songs extra groovy.

Watch a video of Christopher performing