This week, Des Moines hits all the right notes

Napoleon Douglas and an 18-piece band hit the stage this weekend at Noce.

Jazz is America’s original classical music. But its improvisation can seem daunting if you haven’t listened to much of it.

Fortunately, the local singer Napoleon Douglas and the Nate Sparks Big Band are giving newbies and aficionados alike a good reason to visit Noce at 7 p.m. Saturday. With his smooth baritone and immaculate style, Douglas often puts his own spin on the sound and style of the jazz legend Nat King Cole. “I really resonate with the messages and stories in his music,” Douglas said. “This world can be nasty and terrible, but there’s an ounce of love in there. I can see the beauty in it.”

Saturday night’s show is just one of the great jazz shows you can catch around town this week at Noce and elsewhere. Check out the Community Jazz Center website for a full lineup, which includes the following two highlights:

Patricia Holly and the Jamie Poulsen Duo (6-9 tonight): Louie’s Wine Dive on University Avenue has been hosts jazz musicians on its patio on Wednesdays and Sundays this May.

NOLA Jazz Trio (5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday): This trio is part of the seven-piece band led by vocalist and clarinetist Jeff Kane. Check out the music, along with great food and drink, at the Latin King.

Steve Berry and Gina Gedler (7 p.m. Friday): We’d go see these two at Noce just to bask in their charisma. The fact that they’re singing catchy Burt Bacharach tunes, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

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