Civic Music & Social Club News

Above: Jazz pianist Gary Negbaur performs a unique brunch program at the Des Moines Social Club this Sunday.


A rich variety of musical talent is coming to town through the Civic Music Association’s 2019-20 season, announced this week. It opens in October with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a dynamic professional chamber orchestra of 18 black and Latinx soloists, all winners of the annual Sphinx Competition in Detroit, who come together each fall as cultural ambassadors. Click here for more about this group and the rest of the performers scheduled in the coming season, plus ticket information.

Can’t wait until October? The string quartet Sybarite5 brings an eclectic repertoire to close out Civic Music’s current concert season May 3 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Details are here. Civic Music returns to Hoyt Sherman July 20, when it presents New York-based trumpeter and singer Bria Skonberg and Los Angeles-based pianist Connie Han as headliners for the CMA Jazz Festival. The fest starts in the afternoon with free concerts on the lawn before moving inside for the ticketed headline performance. Peter Stevenson, Civic Music’s executive director, says the fest is a “capstone of sorts” to the revived Jazz in July. That event includes three free outdoor evening concerts — on July 11, 19, and 25 — on Hoyt Sherman’s lawn.

But what about world-class jazz right now? OK, we’re excited about jazz singer/pianist Gary Negbaur, who performs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, with brunch at the Basement, in the Des Moines Social Club. The $28 admission price includes the aforementioned buffet-style brunch by Chef Artis T’s Catering, as well as a bloody mary bar. Tickets and more info are available here.

Negbaur is steeped in the New Orleans piano tradition with innovative arrangements of standards plus soulful originals. He has played the Superdome in New Orleans, Birdland in New York City, South by Southwest in Austin — and in Paris at the legendary Le Bilboquet.

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