Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance: David Hurd Community Support Award – Backstage Ball 2018

For more than 42 years, Metro Arts Alliance served its mission to strengthen the Des Moines creative community through collaborative events and education. Metro Arts relied on a combination of cultural organizations, artists, businesses, educators, governments, and a variety of other groups to create synergy and connect people to the arts. “[Our mission was] to… Read more »

Hoyt Sherman Place: Industry Supporter of the Year – Backstage Ball 2018

Hoyt Sherman Place has been a landmark building in Des Moines for more than a century and an entertainment venue for decades. It wasn’t until recently, though, that locals started to take note. Enter: Robert Warren. The Executive Director has pushed boundaries, taking risks on booking national touring acts and bringing in top performing artists…. Read more »

Sara Routh: Mentor of the Year – Backstage Ball 2018

Since moving back to Des Moines in 2014, musician Sara Routh immediately found her heart’s place in teaching and inspiring Des Moines’ young musicians. Through working and volunteering at countless music organizations (City Voices, Central Iowa Music Lab, Girls Rock! Des Moines, and Des Moines Music Coalition just to name a few…), Sara passionately believes… Read more »

Backstage Ball 2018: DJ Need-A-Stack

Bob Nastanovich has always been surrounded by music. Whether it was growing up on the eastern seaboard, performing as a member of seminal alt-rock groups Pavement and Silver Jews, or now spinning records under the moniker DJ Need-A-Stack, new tunes have always seemed to find his ear. Bob talks to us about his influences, releasing… Read more »

Backstage Ball 2018: Ancient Posse

Anyone who’s caught an Ancient Posse show can pay testament to their gripping performance. Kamillah Camp-Bey slides across the stage, her distinctively colored hair trailing every twist as she contorts her body to partner Steve Bergeron’s soaring keys. They’re performers through and through. Every show as gripping as the last. The duo’s played just a… Read more »

Now accepting nominations for Backstage Ball!

Know someone making a positive impact on the Greater Des Moines music community? Each year at the annual Backstage Ball, DMMC recognizes individuals and organizations who have made a meaningful contribution to the improvement of the Des Moines music scene. Fill out the form below to tell us who you’d like to see recognized and why:  

An Interview with Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)

Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down) has been incredibly generous for this year’s Little BIG Fest (Nov. 4) including taking the time to thoughtfully answer our questions (below) and hosting a special songwriting workshop for the campers of Girls Rock! Des Moines! In our interview, Thao reveals her impression of Des Moines after her 80/35 2016 performance, what we can expect for her solo set… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)

Drumroll please, for the almighty Thao Nguyen. Folk rock, indie pop, whatever you want to call it, Thao’s music is catchy AF. Anchored by her Cat Power-esque singing voice and airy arrangements, Thao’s music is ever-evolving and hard to categorize. It’s the kind of music that you find yourself inexplicably dancing to and don’t remember… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Izabel Crane

Two words: Ozark jazz. Let’s let that marinate for a minute. OK, what is it? Well, the Ozark Jazz Society (yes, that’s a thing) describes it as “traditional jazz around the Lake of the Ozarks area. The originators had Dixieland in mind but we are branching out into a combination of Dixieland, Ragtime & Big… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Her Crooked Heart

Fans of Regina Spektor and Feist will most definitely be drawn to the alternative folk music of Her Crooked Heart. Hailing from Minneapolis, Rachel Ries — the multi-instrumentalist behind the name — released her first EP “To Gentlemen” under the new moniker this past May, with a full album debut titled “To Love To Leave… Read more »