IPR Music

Nick Rohlman / Special to IPR

Pandemic or not, musicians and songwriters want their music to be heard.  Iowa City's Jordan Sellergren released her new album "Sweet, Bitter Tears" on May 1.

Mollie Ryan

EleanorGrace never imagined she’d be releasing a new song in the midst of a global pandemic. But that’s what happened, and she’s actually pretty excited about it.

Orchestra Iowa / Facebook

Orchestra Iowa, situated in Cedar Rapids and under the direction of Tim Hankewich, has announced its 2020-2021 season, which includes a yearlong celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a twist. They’re taking a unique focus and plan to pay tribute to Iowa’s Czech heritage and explore Beethoven’s works supported by his Czech patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowicz. 

The first in-person concerts of the season are currently scheduled for mid-September. 

Jason Bell

This Memorial Day weekend, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform Bach's six cello suites in memory of those lost during the pandemic and in honor of those serving on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus. 

"A Musical Memorial and Tribute: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach's Cello Suites Live" will take place live in the studios of WGBH (Boston).

Courtesy of The Nadas

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

Adi Goldstein / Unsplash

Remember that old recorder, band or orchestra instrument tucked away in the closet? Now is your chance to dust off your talents, get lessons, and dive back in. Some of Iowa’s top-notch classical musicians and music schools are teaching online music lessons right now using Facetime, Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts to keep music education alive during the pandemic.

Courtesy of MarKaus / Facebook

Des Moines hip-hop artist Markaus has shared the music video for “Essence,” the first single  from his new EP, “Burn The Boats.” The EP shares its name with a limited edition whiskey produced under Markaus’ Ziyad Rye brand.

Chad Elliott / Facebook

Here’s a collection of five newly-written songs by midwestern folk musicians.

Photo Courtesy of Dan Knight

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

AP Photo/File

Until that day comes when we can all enjoy live music again, take this opportunity to stream some excellent music documentaries in the comfort of your own home!

Lydia Mann / Flickr

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Music, especially Folk music, is often passed down in families. Here are five examples of mothers making music with their grown children.

Photo Courtesy of Ben Loeb

Music buffs usually associate the “Three B’s” as the trio of the classical geniuses Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. This Friday, IPR’s Steinway Cafe is honoring at least one of those. 

IPR Classical's Steinway Cafe series hosts live, in-studio performance on our renovated 1918 Steinway piano over the noon hour. Due to social distancing measures and ongoing health concerns surrounding COVID-19, we’re hosting the first virtual Steinway Cafe performance on Friday, May 8 on Facebook and streaming at iowapublicradio.org. 

Dallas Tuttle / IPR File

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

Dallas Tuttle / IPR File

There is one thing all musicians rely on – the alchemy of songwriting. Without it, there is no performance; there is no product. There is no recording; there is no live stream. There is no way to reach an audience. The song is also the most mysterious thing about an artist’s craft. 

Even in the new COVID-19 reality, artists have adapted and found ways to share their work. While venues remain closed, many artists and bands have replaced the live, in-person experience, with online performances. But what, if anything, has changed about songwriting itself?

Rob Glover / Flickr

May brings warm weather and blooming flowers here in the northern hemisphere. In folk songs, it also brings courtship. Countless traditional ballads in the English language (and other languages as well) begin by specifying that the action takes place in May. Some end happily, some not. Here are a few of them.

Kai Pilger / Unsplash

Like everyone else, Iowa musicians are home a lot more these days.  In any location, creativity continues!  Here's a selection of five new videos made at home.

Fede Casanova / Unsplash

Finding solace in a distant star, mystery in an ancient site and magic in returning to Iowa, today’s wind-band music takes us far beyond parades and pep rallies. And in this thriving art form, Iowans produce some of the finest work. Here are three recent Iowa concert videos focused on 21st-century gems, including one composed by an Iowa native as a tribute to the school that trained her.

Sarah Duncan Ferguson

Get ready to hear something a little different from one of Iowa's longest-running bands. TWINS will be releasing their first record in four years this spring. The new album, called "Dream On," is due out on June 5. Lead vocalist and guitarist Joel Sires, who is also the primary songwriter in the band, took the band in a different musical direction this time around.

 

Past TWINS albums have been raucous, hard-rocking affairs. This one is quieter and more contemplative, with much more obvious Americana and singer-songwriter influences.

Cole Porter

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

Madeleine King / IPR File

As the current number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa continues to rise, postponements, cancellations, and closures are a daily occurrence. By order of the governor, restaurants, bars and other public spaces remain closed in an effort to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus. We’re definitely in uncharted waters! Here's what we know. 

The Awful Purdies

Here’s a collection of songs from Midwestern artists, most of them newly recorded from wherever the artists find themselves these days. As the weeks of sheltering-in-place go by, IPR's Karen Impola encourages you to continue to seek out new music to listen to, and to sing, play, and dance to. 

Darren Schultz

What do you do when your newly-released album is experiencing chart success beyond your wildest dreams, and you can’t celebrate by playing shows? If you’re the Avey Grouws band, you harness the power of the Internet to get your music out into the world and to produce a crowd-sourced music video.

Madeleine King / IPR

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

Marc Levin / Flickr

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was observed to call attention to the need to protect the environment. Ironically, the current pandemic crisis has had its ecological benefits. With factories shut down and less car and plane travel happening, people around the world are reporting the clearest skies and lowest pollution levels in decades. As we celebrate the 50th Earth Day, here are some folk songs for the occasion.

Madeleine King / IPR File

If you listen, you'll hear Iowans creating music across all genres in our state.  One of the most vibrant areas of music creation happening today might be among Iowa hip-hop artists.

Bethünni Schreiner

Those who find themselves missing festival season and the Iowa music scene are in luck this weekend. Quarantined in Cyberspace, a local music festival held on Facebook Live, will be streaming this weekend.

Brendan Lampkin / Lampkin Photography

Cedar Rapids' White Sofa Records is curating a series of livestreams from area artists to raise money for charities No Kid Hungry and the CDC Foundation. The first stream is Thursday, April 16, and streaming dates run through late May. More than a dozen local musicians and artists are featured on the lineup.

David Borer

For musicians, releasing an album should be a joyous occasion, with years of hard work finally paying off. But the novel coronavirus outbreak is forcing changes in plans. 

Singer-songwriter Chad Elliott, who lives in Lamoni, was all set to record his newest record at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with Bo Ramsey as a co-producer. That plan is now currently in limbo.

Madeleine King / IPR File

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live at-home concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

Madeleine King / IPR File

In an effort to support local musicians and keep the music community engaged during this unprecedented time, IPR is bringing you a weekly live concert series every Tuesday night that we're calling #IPRTunesday. 

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