Music & Entertainment
Rock the Grove - Saturday June 9, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by New Anthem   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:06

Long Grove Christian Church

202 South 1st Street

Long Grove, Iowa 52756

Free admission!

Free food, games, kids fun starts 5:00 pm.

Show starts 7:00pm

With guest: Steve Ernst

Quick Artist Agency presents:

Photoside Café

No tickets needed!

Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

In case of bad weather, event will be held inside the church.

More information:

or call 563-570-8638


Who is Photoside Cafe?

Photoside Cafe is an aggressive, acoustic, rock band from Chicago, IL that is most often compared to the likes of Dave Matthews with an edgier sound.
The foursome met at Greenville College, a school noted for its music program, and have already created a solid fan base throughout the Midwest; playing on multiple stages in such notable music festivals as Ichthus Fest and Cornerstone Festival. They have shared the stage with several rising artists including Toby Mac, Relient K, and Switchfoot.
The chemistry within the group is outstanding, and it shines onstage. Each member brings elite individual talent into the mix, making the final product the perfect combination of talent and creativity. With their blazing songs and lyrics, Photoside Cafe blends all the right elements to create an ambiance that is nothing short of remarkable.
"Once again Photoside did a fabulous job at Cornerstone Festival this summer. For the first time we gave them a spot on our Mainstage and they didn't disappoint. this band continues to impress me with their musicianship, stage presence, and attitudes (and after 38 years in the music business I have grown pretty picky). I can't wait to work with them again next summer. I highly recommend this group and I am confident you and your crow will love them." -John Herrin, Festival Director of Cornerstone Festival 2010
"Photoside Cafe is an Ichthus Festival favorite. They have a great sound that appeals to a wide audience-- but it doesn't blend in with all the rest. They have a great sound with thoughtful lyrics. And they're great musicians who always leave the audience wanting more. We've become big fans of Photoside Cafe and believe you will too." Mark Vermilion, CEO of Ichthus Ministries


Who is Steve Ernst?

Steve Ernst is an extremely talented and musically diverse worship leader from Davenport, Iowa, who leads Jesus Country, the region's only weekly country western worship service, at St. John's United Methodist, and also leads contemporary worship at First Baptist Church. Steve's ability to play across all musical styles, including rock, folk, jazz, blues, country, and ballads... from fingerpicking to power chords... gives him unique access to Christian music. In 2006, Steve Ernst was the acoustic guitarist for the Festival of Praise Band that opened the Casting Crowns show for 10,000 people at LeClaire Park in Davenport.

See and print the flyer!


News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Jared Johnson   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:57
Jeff vom Saal, Executive Director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, has announced his intention to leave his employment with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Jeff, his wife Robyn, and their two children will be moving to the San Francisco area at the end of this summer, where Robyn will be taking on an expanded role with her current employer. In a letter to the Board of Trustees, Jeff vom Saal said, “This has been a very difficult decision for my family to make, as we have been delighted with our time in the Quad Cities.”  Jeff is currently exploring several employment opportunities in the orchestra industry near San Francisco.

Jeff vom Saal was named Executive Director in 2007, during the Music Director search that brought Conductor Mark Russell Smith to the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. During Jeff’s tenure as Executive Director, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra has expanded its annual concert offerings, including recently two free public performances during Red, White, and Boom! The QCSO’s Masterworks series has also increased its subscriber base by 20%. This time period boasts many memorable artistic achievements such as Midori’s residency, the multi-media performance of The Planets, and most recently Mark Russell Smith’s production of War Requiem. “Ultimately, being a musician myself, I’m probably most proud of the personal relationships I’ve been able to develop with our orchestra,” said Jeff vom Saal. “We’ve been able to maintain good communication and transparency through some tough financial times and even union negotiations.”

“The Board is sorry to hear of Jeff’s decision, but we are also very excited for Jeff and his family,” said Board of Trustees President Julie McHard. “We’ve accomplished a lot as an organization during Jeff’s time with us and his will be a tough act to follow.” The Board of Trustees’ executive committee has begun meeting to plan for a search to replace vom Saal.

The 28th Annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival Slashes Ticket Prices! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by MVBS   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 10:05

“Let’s Party!” Friday with Kenny Neal on the Bandshell and Super Chikan in the Tent “High Octane Blues” Saturday, with 10 acts on 2 stages, BlueSKool, and free Workshops “RiverRoad” Sunday, honoring MVBS Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Bobby Rush and Lonnie Brooks

DAVENPORT, Iowa—The 28th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival June 29-July 1 is sure to be the best bang for the blues buck! With three-day festival tickets only $37.50 in advance, attendees will enjoy some of the best contemporary and traditional blues in the world—for less than $2 per act.

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society (MVBS) today announced the festival lineup of 24 acts—including blues legends, up-and-comers and award winners—who will be performing on two stages June 29-July 1, at LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa. Produced by MVBS, the event is one of the longest-running blues festivals in the nation, and the only major blues festival in the U.S. produced entirely by volunteers.

The festival kicks off with “Let’s Party” Friday and a new start time—6:30 p.m.—with gates opening at 5:30. Revving up the fun is youngster phenom Matthew Curry and his band The Fury on the Bandshell stage, while Earnest Guitar Roy takes us down to Mississippi on the Tent stage. Blues Music Award nominee and Roomful of Blues alumnus Sugar Ray Norcia on harmonica leads his band the Bluetones next on the Bandshell, followed by Baton Rouge’s award-winning guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Kenny Neal. Over in the Tent, International Blues Challenge semi-finalists Liz Mandeville and Donna Herula show why they represented the Windy City in Memphis, and Super Chikan with his band The Fighting Cocks will be crowing Mississippi style.

“High Octane Blues” Saturday offers an eclectic mix that’s sure to stir the blues-loving soul. The Terry Quiett Band from Kansas kicks it off on the Bandshell, followed by Ohio’s Ray Fuller & the Bluesrockers, the Memphis soul of “The King of Beale Street” Preston Shannon, and Guitar Shorty—a one-time brother-in-law of Jimi Hendrix, and ending up with headliner Coco Montoya, protégé of legends Albert Collins and John Mayall. First up in the Tent is Bryce Janey from Marion IA, who represented the
state of Iowa at the International Blues Challenge in the solo-duo category in Memphis. Next is Blues Music Award nominee Doug MacLeod, who will also present a free workshop about slide guitar. The Ernest Dawkins Quartet from Chicago adds jazz to the mix, followed by the deep blues of Kansas harmonica-guitar duo Moreland and Arbuckle. Sure to blow the roof off the Tent is headliner piano powerhouse Kelley Hunt and her band.

On “RiverRoad” Sunday, the festival honors Mississippi soul-blues icon Bobby Rush, whose show in the Tent will be part acoustic and part his usual party with dancing girls. Legendary guitarist Lonnie Brooks will also receive a RiverRoad Lifetime Achievement Award, on the Bandshell, before a long set with his sons—stars themselves—Ronnie Baker Brooks and Wayne Baker Brooks. Rounding out the Bandshell performances are Oakland CA pianist Lady Bianca and Kansas City siblings Trampled Under Foot. The Tent performances start with the River Music Experience’s Winter Blues Kids led by Hal Reed and Ellis Kell, followed by the country blues of Paul Geremia (who also gives a workshop on 6 and 12-string guitar styles), and the smoldering soul of Mississippi’s Johnny Rawls.

The mission of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society is to educate the public about the native art form of blues-related music and to keep the blues alive. On Saturday and Sunday, The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival offers free workshops for adults in the Freight House (on Ripley Street across the tracks from LeClaire Park), a free photo exhibit of blues artists and past festivals also in the Freight House, and BlueSKool for children in LeClaire Park. The workshops and BlueSKool give participants a chance to
learn from the masters.

Sponsors for this year’s festival include River Cities’ Reader, the Illinois Arts Council, the Riverboat Development Authority, the City of Davenport, KALA radio, Alcoa, Humanities Iowa, Premier Jewelry and Loan, and The Lodge Hotel & Conference Center.

Advance three-day festival tickets are available for only $37.50 or $12.50 per day through Thursday June 28. Advance tickets can be purchased at Hy-Vee stores in the Quad Cities, Clinton, and Muscatine; at Rascals (1414 15th Street, Moline); at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf; and at the MVBS office (by check only) at 102 S. Harrison in Davenport (call first: 563-32-BLUES).

One-day tickets will be sold at the gate for only $15 each day. Children ages 14 and under will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

It takes over 200 volunteers to produce the Festival. The MVBS is still seeking volunteers for shifts June 29-July 1. Volunteers receive free admission on their day of service as well as a commemorative t-shirt. Volunteers should register online at

For 27 years, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival has attracted legendary blues acts, making it one of the most highly regarded blues festivals in the nation. According to the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival’s economic benefit to the area is $2.3 million annually. For more information about the festival, lodging and the complete schedule of artists, visit


'Nothing Compares' to the Iowa State Fair's Free Stage Line-up PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:27

DES MOINES, IA (05/22/2012)(readMedia)-- The 2012 Iowa State Fair free stage line-up is packed with a variety of entertainment and acts. From musical legends to Vaudeville comedy, "Nothing Compares" to this much entertainment, all free with gate admission. The Iowa State Fair runs August 9-19.

Boyz II Men holds the distinction as the best-selling R&B group of all time, with an astounding 60 million albums sold. For the past two decades, Boyz II Men have given fans a rich catalog of hits, like "End of the Road" and "I'll Make Love to You." Most recently, Boyz II Men marked their 20th anniversary by releasing a landmark album, fittingly titled "Twenty."

Honored with 17 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, WAR is one of the greatest rock groups of all time. WAR's album, "The World Is A Ghetto," attained the number one spot on Billboard Magazine. Their classic songs include, "Low Rider," "Slippin' Into Darkness" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

The Fair brings theater to the stage with the Handsome Little Devils' Squirm Burpee Circus, an exhilarating, fantastical adventure featuring classic Vaudeville comedy, high-skill circus acts and a plot rooted in American melodrama.

Thirty-six acts, including more crowd-pleasing favorites like The Afters, Here Come the Mummies, and Hunter Hayes will be featured on the Fair's five free stages. Throughout the 11 days, Fairgoers can enjoy more than half a million dollars worth of free entertainment.

Discounted admission tickets are available now through August 8, with savings up to 30 percent. Purchase tickets now online at The Iowa State Fair Ticket Office opens July 9 for walk-up orders.

A complete listing of event dates, times and locations follows:

Anderson Erickson Dairy Stage sponsored by KCCI NewsChannel 8

August 9-10 The Nadas (7 & 9 p.m.)

August 11 Brother Trucker (7 & 9 p.m.)

August 12-13 Handsome Little Devils (7 & 9 p.m.)

August 14 Brett Eldredge (8 p.m.)

August 15 Dia Frampton (8 p.m.)

August 16 Glen Templeton (8 p.m.)

August 17-18 The Blue Band (7 & 9 p.m.)

August 19 Here Come the Mummies (7:30 p.m.)

Anne and Bill Riley Stage sponsored by Pepsi

August 9 JJ Grey and Mofro (8 p.m.)

August 10 Action Item (8 p.m.)

August 11 Iowa State Fair Queen Coronation (7 p.m.)

August 12 The Afters (8 p.m.)

August 13-17 Hypnotist Ron Diamond (7 & 9 p.m.)

August 18 The Downtown Fiction (8 p.m.)

August 19 Street Corner Symphony (7 p.m.)

Budweiser Stage sponsored by ABC5

August 9-10 Bob Wootton (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 11-12 Elvis Impersonator Travis LeDoyt (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 13-14 Restless Heart (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 15-16 Strawberry Fields (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 17-18 Dave Mason Duo (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 19 WAR (8 p.m.)

Susan Knapp Amphitheater with media sponsor KDSM FOX 17

August 9 Steve Holy (8 p.m.)

August 10 Mockingbird Sun (8 p.m.)

August 11 Will Hoge (8 p.m.)

August 12 Blackberry Smoke (8 p.m.)

August 13-14 Hairball (7:30 & 9:30 p.m.)

August 15 Hunter Hayes (8 p.m.)

August 16 Country Gold featuring Leroy Van Dyke, Narvel Felts, Rex Allen Jr. and The Quebe Sisters (6 & 8:30 p.m.)

August 17 Marlee Scott (8 p.m.)

August 18 JT Hodges (8 p.m.)

August 19 Boyz II Men (7 p.m.)

Fun Forest Stage sponsored by Community Choice Credit Union

(All shows ASL interpreted)

August 9-19 Babaloo (11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m.)

August 9-19 Matt's Family Jam (11:30 a.m., 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.)

August 9-19 VSA Iowa Presents (various artists) (Noon, 2 & 4 p.m.)

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

* * *

Make Your Dreams Come True, Urges Hollywood Director PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Richard Martin   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:00
TV/Movie Veteran Shares His Secrets for Beating the Odds

Nearly half of us have given up on the notion that we can get ahead by digging in and working hard, but the American Dream still has a champion in Hollywood TV and film director Guy Magar (La Femme Nikita, The A-Team, Battlestar Galactica).

As with so many stories out of Hollywood, Magar’s reads like a made-for-TV movie. A young Egyptian refugee immigrates to the United States and latches onto two dreams: becoming a filmmaker and finding his one, true love. Despite being a kid from the New York suburbs with no connections to the film industry, he finds a way to manage the first. And, after years of searching, he finally gets the girl, too.

“We had a magical Camelot wedding only a movie director could conjure – complete with sword-dueling to rescue the bride who got kidnapped when she arrived by horse-drawn carriage. It was my Errol Flynn life moment!” recalls Magar. But, into his 25th year of marriage, he learns the love of his life has a fatal illness.

“Everyone needs to dream and anyone can make those dreams come true – if they pursue them with passionate drive,” says Magar, who shares his story for the first time in his memoir Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot (

He discounts the ABC News/Yahoo poll that found that, at the height of the recession, 43 percent of us had lost faith in the American Dream.

“People have suffered because of the economy, but there have always been economic ups and downs – and there have always been Americans making their dreams come true,” he says. “My dreams were seemingly unattainable, but I made them happen because mine was a passionate pursuit -- I never stopped trying and that’s what it takes.”

“Today, I have my beautiful wife, Jacqui, here by my side, healthy and happy, because I dreamed of finding a cure for her and I didn’t stop searching – against all odds -- until we found it.”

How can anyone overcome seemingly insurmountable odds? Magar offers his recipe for success:

• Dare to dream. “It sounds simple, but so many people don’t bother,” Magar says. “Instead of envisioning the magical possibilities, they see only obstacles and challenges.” If you have a career dream, find a way to experience it through school or internships to make sure it’s a profession you love. Dreams require passion, and you may not have enough to fuel a hard journey if you haven’t tested the waters first. At 25, Magar enrolled in film school to find out whether he actually liked the process of filmmaking and had a talent for it. That experience lit a fire.

• Don’t settle. “I knew I wanted to marry nothing less than my true love, and that required a lot of patience!” he says. “I didn’t meet Jacqui until I was 34.” It’s easy to jump the gun at 22, or panic at 32, but when you have a dream you’re passionate about, you need to believe in yourself and hold fast, he says. How do you know love when you find it? “When you’re absolutely sure that you’d be the biggest fool to pass this up,” he says.

• Work at it like there’s no tomorrow. Magar’s first feature film, Retribution, required 12-hour days seven days a week for three months – just for the prep work of finding locations, working on the script, casting, sets and costumes. He knew how to get it done. When Jacqui was diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of leukemia in 2008, Magar was even more dogged.  “I dreamed of finding a way to heal Jacqui, and if that required researching every new treatment and calling every cancer center in the country, that’s what I would do.” He finally found a promising clinical trial at a Minnesota cancer center that was being replicated at City of Hope near Los Angeles. “Jacqui is now celebrating her third year of remission,” he says – with a big smile.

Magar immigrated to New York City with his family in 1958 after a military coup radically changed Egypt. The family came with nothing, and Magar spoke no English. Eventually, their situation improved and Magar finished his growing-up years as a middle-class kid in an idyllic little New York town. It wasn’t until after he’d graduated from Rutgers College – with a degree in philosophy – that he discovered his love for telling stories visually through film.

“If I – an Egyptian immigrant kid – can become a Hollywood movie director married to the love of my life, anyone can make their dreams come true,” he says.

About Guy Magar

TV and film director/writer/producer Guy Magar has worked for more than 30 years in the motion picture industry. His TV credits include Dark Avenger, The Young Riders, and Blue Thunder. His feature films include Lookin’ Italian, starring Matt LeBlanc and Lou Rawls; Stepfather 3, which launched HBO’s World Premiere Series, and Retribution, to be re-released for its 25th anniversary on DVD this summer. Guy is also the founder of Action/Cut Seminars which has taught filmmaking to thousands of students with a film dream.

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