The child of jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and the late bebop pianist Hod O’Brien, Veronica Swift made her first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center at age 11 during the Women in Jazz series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Now all of 23 years old, Veronica Swift has drawn greater attention following her second place finish at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition in 2015. She has since headlined the Telluride Jazz Festival and appeared at Birdland, performing with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, and Paquito d’Rivera. For her debut performance in Des Moines she will perform with The Benny Green Trio, a staple of the New York City jazz scene led by one of the most exciting hard-bop pianists to emerge from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

One of the vanguards of the current gypsy jazz revival, Hot Club of San Francisco (HCSF) has integrated Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s jazz manouche style with their own disparate influences to create a unique sound of their own. Band leader and guitarist Paul Mehling spent years immersing himself in all things Django, even playing with a gypsy violinist in the Paris Metro. Rounding out the quintet will be four incredibly talented artists including Isabelle Fontaine (vocals, guitar), Evan Price (violin), Jordan Samuels (guitar), and Sam Rocha (bass). Their Cool Yule performance will integrate popular holiday favorites with the style HCSF is known for. Don’t miss this special performance!

“The communication between the four performers was as beautiful to watch as their music was satisfying to hear. This quartet thinks and breaths as one, focused on a singular, clear vision for their music making.” The Toronto Star

The Faure Quartett is a Germany-based piano quartet named for the French composer Gabriel Faure. Recognized as one of the leading piano quartets in Europe today, the Faure Quartett was founded in 1995 by the same four musicians — Erika Geldsetzer (violin), Sascha Froembling (viola), Konstantin Heidrich (cello), and Dirk Mommertz (piano) — who form the quartet today. It should come as no surprise, then, that Faure Quartett performances are known for their breathtaking balance, ensemble, intonation and finely synchronized interpretation.  

This concert is sponsored by the Marjorie Spevak Endowment Fund.

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D’indy Piano Quartet
Fauré Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 45
Schumann Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47

“His greatness, his overwhelming authority as a musician, technician and probing intellect emerge quickly as he plays.” – Los Angeles Times

Emanuel Ax is one of the world’s most brilliant and versatile pianists, earning the respect and admiration of music lovers and critics around the world. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and a frequent recording and concert partner with Yo-Yo Ma, Ax now teaches at Juilliard and regularly performs with major symphony orchestras around the world. His first visit back to Des Moines since his debut with CMA in 1982, this will be a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s most renowned pianists in solo recital!

This concert is sponsored by Nixon and Virginia Lauridsen.

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BRAHMS The Rhapsodies, Op. 79
G. BENJAMIN Piano Figures
SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales
CHOPIN Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1
CHOPIN 3 Mazurkas
CHOPIN Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante in E-flat Major, Op. 22

“…the sense of growing momentum is unmistakeable.” – All About Jazz

Guitarist Julian Lage has an impressive career. At the mere age of 13, Lage performed at the Grammy® Awards. Just two years later, at the age of 15, he joined the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University. Lage regularly tours, presenting soldout shows from the East Coast to the West. And with two Grammy® nominations, his Des Moines debut will be an experience you won’t forget.

Ramsey Lewis is a jazz legend. He’s a composer, pianist, radio personality and three-time Grammy® Award winner. Known for his swinging style that has spanned generations and genres, Lewis has released more than 80 albums since his first hit in 1965, The “In” Crowd. Returning to Des Moines, and the CMA lineup, for the first time in 13 years, Lewis will perform with jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway, backed by a quintet of veteran jazz musicians. Hampton Callaway, who was recently voted “Performer of the Year” by, is one of the leading champions of the great American Songbook and a Platinum Award winning song writer. This is a concert not to be missed.

“Their rock star status…is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” The Sarasota Herald Tribune

Dubbed the “Millennial Kronos,” SYBARITE5 brings its eclectic repertoire to Des Moines for our 2018/2019 Season Finale concert. This adventurous string quintet bridges genre gaps and brings unlikely musical combinations together to create unique concert experiences. SYBARITE5 enjoys a well-earned reputation for challenging perceptions of what music can be and who plays what, pushing the boundaries of concert music. Everything In Its Right Place is a cohesive showcase of the ensemble’s regular playlist, including music by Radiohead, Piazzolla, Mozart, and Brubeck, as well as new compositions for the group by Andy Ahiko, Eric Byers, Shawn Conly, and Dan Visconti.