For Immediate Release: July 20, 2015 – IOWA CITY, IA
It’s All kinds of SOUL for all kinds of people at the 2015 Iowa Soul Festival, presented by Diversity Focus, August 28th and 29th on the University of Iowa Pentacrest and Downtown Iowa City. The festival kicks off on Friday, August 28th with two powerhouse performances brought to you by Hancher, and continues outside all day Saturday, August 29th. The weekend wraps up with a ticketed Gospel Brunch on Sunday, August 30th at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel.
The 2015 Iowa Soul Festival kicks off on Friday night with the Carnival Parade featuring the steel drum band Pandelirium on the Main Stage while the parade moves through the streets of Downtown Iowa City. Following the Carnival Parade, Hancher kicks off their 2015-2016 season with two unstoppable performances. Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen will revisit the musical genius of Allen Toussaint, bringing the reimagined sound to Iowa City while testifying to the strength, versatility, and adaptability of Toussaint's compositions, accompanying Cleary's creativity and taste in re-imagination. Having notched more than two decades as a keyboardist and bandleader in New Orleans, Cleary will bring the flavor of New Orleans to the heart of Iowa City.
At 8:30 PM Friday night, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings will take over the Main Stage with the rhythm, feeling, and explosive power so characteristic of this soul-sensation group. "Everything I love can be summed up by the moment I get on stage, and start giving the people what they want. That's real love. That's real music," remarks Jones regarding her passion for performing and for her incredibly supportive fan-base.
Headlining on Saturday night is R&B singer, Raheen Devaughn, with the sonorous “tour-de-force” known as Shade of Blue opening for him at 7 PM. Three-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter DeVaughn believes that love makes the world go round. He embraces this universal theme in the heart and soul of his original songs and collaborations, having worked with renowned musical artists Ne-Yo, Mario Winans, Carvin & Ivan, and more. “People are fascinated with love and are still trying to discover what it means. I like to think that I make music that is passionate, conscious, caring and endearing…so I definitely try to embody all of that in the music I put out.”
Founded by guitarist and vocalist Dave Rosazza as a blues trio in 1989, Shade of Blue has evolved into one of the Iowa City area’s most beloved musical institutions as a featured act and as an opener for internationally acclaimed artists such as the Neville Brothers, Koko Taylor, and George Clinton.
The Dream Divas of Iowa City, Ordained 2Praise Dance Ministry, and Set the Atmosphere will set the tone for another full day of SOUL on Saturday, August 29th beginning at 11 AM. Throughout the day, enjoy performances by the Amen Choir, as well as Bruce Teague & the Serious Blues Band. Saxophonist, Educator, Composer, Damani Phillips not only teaches at the University of Iowa but will be bringing his passion for music to the Main Stage as part of The Damani Phillips Trio. At 5 PM, Kevin Burt & Big Medicine will dispel the myth that true soul has no roots in Iowa with what is always an electrifying performance!
In between the performances, grab refreshments at the ever-popular Culinary Row featuring special soul food dishes or stop in the Beverage Garden for a cold adult beverage. Enjoy the FUN Zone, perfect for families while you explore all that the festival has to offer on Friday and Saturday. The Iowa Soul Fest MarketPlace will feature the original artwork of a number of artists with an emphasis on work inspired by African American culture.
On Sunday, you can enjoy a Gospel Brunch at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel. The brunch will feature amazing food and entertainment by Chicago jazz and gospel singer Maggie Brown. Tickets for the 12:30 PM seating are $30 per person in advance, with proceeds benefiting Summer of the Arts and KCCK Jazz 88.3 Radio.
Bring the family downtown to enjoy a weekend celebrating African American culture through music, dance, food, and art! Make sure to mark your calendars for this exciting event! For more information about this festival, please visit our website at www.summeroftheARTS.org or call our office at (319) 337-7944.
Summer of the Arts is an umbrella organization for local arts and culture events, including the Iowa Arts Festival presented by Veridian Credit Union, MusicIC, Iowa City Jazz Festival presented by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Iowa Soul Festival presented by Diversity Focus, Friday Night Concert Series presented by Toyota-Scion of Iowa City, and Free Movie Series presented by Collins Community Credit Union & UI Pentacrest Museums.
The mission of Summer of the Arts is to bring people together in the heart of Iowa City to experience, learn and enjoy free Arts and Cultural Events.