Praised by the Washington Post for her “astonishing voice” and “undeniable ingenuity,” lauded jazz singer and music educator Lenora Zenzalai Helm and her ensemble headline a special, virtual concert hosted by the Polyrhythms Third Sunday Jazz Series, the July 26 evening with the Lenora Zenzalai Helm Tribe & Jazz Orchestra showcasing a performer who, according to the New York Daily News, “has a fistful of jazz and world rhythms in her pocket and some glorious songs in her soul.”

The in-person concerts and workshops for this year's celebration may be canceled due to COVID-19, but the jazz music, on July 31 and August 1, will most certainly go on in the 49th-Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, with six national and local bands performing in the virtual event held in tribute to the legendary cornet player and Davenport native.

Accompanied by an entire repertoire of jazz standards and iconic pop hits, a 2005 graduate of Rock Island High School returns to the Quad Cities – performing for live audiences for the first time since March – in The Matt Barber Experience, the July 2 concert event at Davenport's Grape Life Wine Store & Lounge that finds Barber and his touring musicians performing classics from the five albums he has recorded since 2007.

With Maquoketa's Ohnward Fine Arts Center set to re-open by adhering to Iowa's social-distancing guidelines, the venue will officially welcome patrons back on June 27 in the stage celebration Joseph Hall's Elvis Rock 'n' Roll Remember Show, a salute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll led by one of the United States' most lauded tribute artists and a former competitor on America's Got Talent.

In a sea of carbon-copied hits that sound like they were genetically engineered in a lab, alchemized into being with the same few ingredients and signifiers that topped the charts a couple weeks before, the best pop music to emerge from any given era stands out by surveying recent musical trends and streaking off in the completely opposite direction. More than a process of picking a sub-genre no one has heard in five years or so and hopping into it just for the sake of a novel juxtaposition, to shock fans for a moment before they keep scrolling down the feed, the artists who succeed at bucking trends and emerging with something unique do so by embracing the weirder or potentially more “uncool” aspects of their own musical interests.

A. Riggen, half of Quad Cities doom metal duo Murnau, has released Sugarcane, an album of indie-rock/dream-pop compositions under the moniker Wilhelm. Though the yearning, reverb-heavy vocal style he employs in Murnau remains intact here, his arrangements in the context of this project have shifted to the world of a more conventional “rock” band built around more relatively straightforward piano, guitar, bass, and organ lines.

Rock Island-based composer Terry Skaggs, a.k.a. dead lizard grin, released an album of layered, atmospheric ambient/drone works in mid-April called Notes from a Temporary World. The artist describes the album as: “A collection of pieces arrived at during COVID-19 isolation, March & April 2020.”

The latest release from Davenport's Giallows finds the band continuing their mission to create as much music as possible in as many configurations as necessary.

Admiral in Distress is not what one would expect from Andrew Stuart "Stu" Cline. The affable, soft-spoken fellow is known to many in the Quad Cities for his cheerful work behind the counter at Ragged Records and his half-deadpan comedy routines. He's also made a name for himself from his journeyman stints (mainly on keys) in a number of QC bands from varying spots on the progressive spectrum. They include Ice Hockey, Ronin, Grandfather Confusion, Dynoride, Giallows, and, most recently (and almost vexingly), with emotional, melodic rockers Mountain Swallower.

One-person production project Landethics dropped the relatively short but jam-packed 12-track album phantom tidepools on their Bandcamp at the beginning of May. The producer explores a palette of sounds and production styles that falls between windswept Japanese role-playing-game soundtracks that you might hear on turn-of-the-century Playstation games and a hip-hop-adjacent series of grooves built over clipped kick drums and heavy 808 bass thuds.

Pages