by Kara Logsden on May 21st, 2016
Our final Music on Wednesday program will be held Wednesday May 25th at Noon. The Old Post Office Brass Quintet, which is affiliated with the New Horizons Band, will share a variety of toe-tapping fun music. This free program will be held in the Library Lobby.
The New Horizons Band is “dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. The band, as well as the small spin-off groups perform regularly throughout the area and are known for bringing much joy to many, especially the older adult members of our community.”
I’m sad the Music on Wednesday series is coming to a close. It’s fun to see the surprised expression on people’s faces when they come into the Library and encounter music in an expected place. Most people smile and some stop and listen. Music in unexpected places reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have a secret hope we’ll continue to have pop-up music in the Lobby. Most people know what to expect at the Library, but some days a bit of serendipity through music is a welcome surprise.
by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2016
OK … confession time. I’ve never heard Crystal City perform live. They came highly recommended to me and when I read this review from Hillfolk Noir, who could resist?! “Crystal City from Iowa City, Iowa, is a versatile combo centered around Dave’s midwestern sincerity. His honest songs and Sam’s lilting harmonies can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping. -Travis & Ali Ward, Hillfolk Noir”
Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” While preparing for this program, I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.
Please join us on Wednesday May 11 at Noon in the Library’s Lobby for a toe-tapping musical performance with Crystal City. I dare you to not tap your toes and hum along. And who knows, maybe some bedraggled feet may begin stomping! See you at the Library!
by Brent Palmer on April 29th, 2016
If you have any interest in world music and don’t yet know Orchestra Baobab, I encourage you to give this band a try. This Senegalese group has a spicy blend of musical styles that include Cuban rhythms, classic West African drumming, mbira-like guitar and a vocal style from the West-African griot storytellers. It’s really fun to listen to. Baobab made up of musicians from all around West Africa including Mali, Togo, Guinea and the Casamance region of Senegal. They sing in many different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Wolof. We currently own only one album but it’s a really good one. If you enjoyed Buena Vista Social Club, it will be an easy transatlantic hop into this music. Request it right now.
Clip of Cabral by Orchestra Baobab
by Kara Logsden on April 7th, 2016
On April 13, 2016 at Noon, Preucil School of Music staff and students return to the Iowa City Public Library for a Special Music on Wednesday program celebrating “Notes of Spring.”
Music on Wednesday is a part of the Music is the Word series welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City. More information about Music is the Word, including a schedule of programs, is available at www.icpl.org/mitw.
“Notes of Spring” is the fourth and final performance from the musicians from Preucil School of Music. I have especially enjoyed these performances because it’s great to take a music break during the day and I am so impressed with the passion and dedication I’ve seen from the Preucil performers. Below is a preview of the program planned for Wednesday April 13th at Noon. I hope to see you there!
by Kara Logsden on March 5th, 2016
Susan and Greg Dirks grew up with music and began performing together as a duo in 2008. They compose most of their own music but also play cover songs from well-known musicians such as Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk, acoustic and folk rock.
We are honored to host Susan and Greg Dirks at the Library as a part of the Music on Wednesday series on March 9, 2016 at Noon in the Lobby.
A quote in ReverbNation about the Dirks’ music piqued my interest: “Some themes you may feel or identify in our music: love, family, friends, children, people we miss, passion, wind gently blowing through trees, water shimmering in the sunset, mountains rising majestically through clouds, the swelling expanse of the Pacific on the northern California coast, redwood forests, the Iowa countryside on a still summer night, rivers strong and gentle, shining ribbons of railroad tracks disappearing into the horizon, good books, history, selfless people doing good things.”
Music can often sweep us away. I’m looking forward to the Dirks’ music and the beautiful themes that will come alive through their performance. See you soon!
by Kara Logsden on February 24th, 2016
University of Iowa School of Music students will present a wonderful noon-time program on Friday, February 26, 2016 in Meeting Room A. Please join us for an hour of enjoyment.
This program is free and open to the public. For a complete list of Music is the Word programs, visit www.icpl.org/mitw
Friday’s program will include:
Horn Trio in E flat Major Op.40 Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
II. Scherzo (Allegro)
III. Adagio mesto
IV. Allegro con brio
Performed by: Three Oakes (Ethan Brozka, horn, Jenna Ferdon, violin, Max Tsai, piano)
Sonata No.23 Op. 57 F minor “Appassionata” Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
- Allegro Assai
Etude Op. 25 No. 10 Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
Maple Leaf Rag Scott Joplin (1868 – 1917)
Performed by: Hana Song, piano
by Kara Logsden on January 9th, 2016
Once upon a long time ago my daughter decided she wanted to take guitar lessons. I checked around and Deb Singer’s name kept coming up as a recommended teacher. For some reason we decided I should take lessons too, so soon my daughter and I had guitars and we were meeting with Deb once a week.
I’d love to say that we became guitar masters but alas, it was not meant to be (and this was no fault of Deb’s ). Mostly we enjoyed listening to Deb play with us and were amazed at how great we sounded when we were with Deb (an how not great we sounded when we were home practicing).
Please join us on Wednesday January 13, 2016 at Noon when Deb will share her classical guitar favorites with our Library audience. If the weather is mild we will be in the Lobby. If it’s cold we’ll move the program to the 1st Floor Gallery area near the magazine collection.
Deb is very well known in our community with the “under 5 crowd.” She is a regular at ICPL Storytimes and at local preschools. Deb has a passion for music and movement and it is a joy to watch and listen as she plays and dances with children.
Deb is a founding member and plays acoustic guitar with the Iowa City-based world music band, Kol Shira. Kol Shira’s CD, A New World, is available on the Library’s Local Music Project at http://music.icpl.org/kol_shira/a_new_world.
by Stacey McKim on October 22nd, 2015
Gone are the days of painstakingly making mixtapes for friends, so we wanted to revive the act of sharing favorite songs this month. If you haven’t seen our interactive playlist displays yet, look for them near the music CDs and up on the 2nd floor. We’ve provided themes; you provide the songs.
If you’d like help tracking down any of the songs you see on the display, let us know! ICPL might own the album, we could help you listen to particular songs online, or we can borrow CDs on interlibrary loan for residents of our primary service area at no cost to you.
Music is the Word
by Kara Logsden on October 10th, 2015
Pigs and Clover will perform in the Library’s Lobby at Noon on Wednesday October 14th. Pigs and Clover is the dynamic duo of Iowa City Musicians Jamie Kearney and Matt Kearney. Jamie grew up in Eastern Iowa and sings and plays guitar, banjo and drums. Matt grew up in Western Iowa and sings and plays guitar, bass, banjo, mouth harp and piano.
According to the Pigs and Clover webpage, “Matt and Jamie write and sing all kinds of songs, but the ones they like best speak truth to power, challenge the status quo, and give voice to the voiceless in the great tradition of American protest music.”
I’ve enjoyed watching some of the Pigs and Clover performances featured on YouTube as I prepared for the Music on Wednesday series. Their upcoming performance schedule can be found on the Pigs and Clover Facebook Page.
We look forward to Jamie and Matt’s performance in the Library’s Lobby at Noon on Wednesday October 14th.
by Kara Logsden on September 19th, 2015
Head to the Library at Noon on Wednesday September 23rd for some toe-tapping Americana music from Scott Cochran and Matt Kearney.
Scott Cochran is a musician from the Iowa City-based bands, Slew Grass and Flannel. In a recent post about the Slew Grass CD, one reviewer described the music as “Singer-songwriterly regional bluegrass music with vocal harmonies, and instrumental finesse that will take your breathe away.” You can preview Scott’s vocals and guitar while playing with Flannel on this recording on YouTube. Listening makes me excited for the live performance at the Library!
Matt Kearney is also a musician from Iowa City and plays with the Iowa City-based band Pigs and Clover. (Pigs and Clover will perform in the Library’s Lobby on Wednesday October 14th at Noon.) Matt grew up in Western Iowa and discovered his passion for music at a young age while playing with friends. Matt’s vocals and instrumentals can be previewed on this recording from the Pigs and Clover webpage.
On a personal note, I’ve known Scott since we were in junior high together more years ago than we’d like to admit. Recently we’ve become reacquainted on Facebook and I’ve been curious about his music. When I asked Scott for a photo to help promote his program, he sent me the awesome photo of him playing guitar when he was young.
I’m looking forward to Scott and Matt’s performance at the Library and the experience of live music in the Lobby. We hope to see you at Noon on Wednesday September 23rd.