MUSIC UNIVERSITY FT. DESSA and OPEN MIKE EAGLE
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
CONFERENCE: 10:30 – 5:30
FREE WITH RSVP, ALL AGES
SHOWCASE FT. DESSA and OPEN MIKE EAGLE
6:30, xBk LIVE
$20, ALL AGES
MUSIC UNIVERSITY: AN INDUSTRY AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MUSIC CONFERENCE FOR IOWA
Music University is an annual conference and showcase presented by the DMMC for musicians and music industry workers in Iowa. This year’s theme is building sustainable careers in music. Join us for a full day of workshops, panels, keynotes, and connecting with others in our music ecosystem.
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS
Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations—her résumé as a musician includes performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-compositions for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and top-200 entries on the Billboard charts. She contributed to the #1 album The Hamilton Mixtape and the RBG documentary; her track, “Congratulations,” has notched over 20 million streams.
As a writer, she’s been published by The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler, broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio, and published a memoir-in-essays (My Own Devices, 2018) in addition to two literary collections. As a speaker, Dessa has delivered keynote speeches and presentations on art, science, and entrepreneurship; guest lectures at universities and colleges across the US; and a TED Talk about her science experiment on how to fall out of love. She’s also the host of Deeply Human, a podcast created by the BBC and American Public Media. Dessa has been covered by Pitchfork, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal amongst others. The LA Times says she “sounds like no one else.” NPR’s All Songs Considered calls her “a national treasure.” On the stage and on the page, Dessa’s style is defined by ferocity, wit, tenderness, and candor.
OPEN MIKE EAGLE
Open Mike Eagle spent the 2010s finding comedy in rap music and American nightmares. On albums like Brick Body Kids Still Daydream and Dark Comedy, he delivered hilarious socio-political insights via half-sung verses laid atop progressive production. Acclaim from publications like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and NPR coincided with headlining solo tours and top-billing at events like Adult Swim Festival. Between studio sessions, Eagle co-founded The New Negroes, a standup-meets-music variety show that explores perceptions of blackness. He and co-founder Baron Vaughn brought the show to Upright Citizens Brigade, Comedy Central, and venues around the U.S.
James Combs co-created the sync licensing company Laurel Canon Music Services in 2011, representing respected indie artists including Dave Alvin, Maria Taylor, Azure Ray, The Church, and more. Placements have included “Shameless” (Showtime), “This Is Us” (NBC), “Here and Now” (HBO) and in ads for companies like Apple and Subaru. As an artist, James has released nine albums and shared stages with Jackson Browne, Marianne Faithfull, Van Dyke Parks, Tom Verlaine, and many more. He has also played on the BBC, MTV, and at the Lollapalooza festival. He has written music for major TV shows (“Entourage”, “Six Feet Under”) and ads (Subaru, Fed Ex). His co-written song “Let’s Boot and Rally” was performed by Iggy Pop and Best Coast as an end credit in HBO’s “True Blood.”
ADDITIONAL SPEAKER & PERFORMER BIOS COMING SOON