September Roundup: 17 Arts & Culture Events in Downtown DSM
Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is bursting with arts and culture sights and sounds this month! Here’s your roundup of 17 must-see events including performing arts, stand-up comedy, jazz music, main stage concerts, intimate music performances, cultural entertainment and much more. This September is the perfect time to enjoy more, explore more and experience more arts and culture in Downtown DSM!
Thursday, Sept. 15 – Saturday, Sept. 17 | Cowles Commons
Sonic Butterfly is a 26-string acoustic long-stringed harp whose resonating chambers have butterfly-like projection screen wings. The strings spanning out over the audience, combined with the beautiful LED-lit butterfly wings, create a highly visual musical experience for all ages.
- Gabriel Espinosa's ASHANTI, feat. Vocalist Aviana Gedler
Friday, Sept. 16 | Noce Jazz Club
Born in Merida, Mexico, Gabriel Espinosa and his group ASHANTI mix strings with Latin influence. This performance features the lovely voice of Aviana Gedler.
- World Food & Music Festival
Friday, Sept. 16 – Sunday, Sept. 18 | Western Gateway Park
The lineup for this year’s Festival is off the charts! The Main Stage presented by Prairie Meadows will feature Parrenderos Latin Combo, Guitarras ATM, The Unfortunate Sons, Suede and headlining act Southern Avenue. Additional performances on the Cultural Stage presented by Principal includes Scottish bagpipes, Irish dancers, Soten Taiko Japanese drummers and much more. Grab a bite to eat from the dozens of global food vendors, sip on cold drink and enjoy the music and live entertainment at this family-friendly and free event!
- Iowa Stage Theater Company: Sweat
Friday, Sept. 16 – Sunday, Sept. 25 | Stoner Theater
This stage performance by Lynn Nottage examines blue collar American factory workers struggling with earning a living amidst labor strife and racial tensions.
- John Denver Tribute Concert Starring Jim Curry
Friday, Sept. 16 | Des Moines Heritage Center
The country’s top performer of John Denver music will grace DSM with his presence performing favorite Denver songs such as “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders” and more.
- Disney Junior Live on Tour: Costume Palooza
Saturday, Sept. 17 | Des Moines Civic Center
Experience the vibrant sights of Disney Junior fave characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Puppy Dog Pals, Spidey and many more! Costumes are encouraged for kids (and adults, too!).
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Saturday, Sept. 17 | Hoyt Sherman Place
Born Troy Andrews, Trombone Shorty brings a magnetic charisma and showmanship to his performances. Since 2010, he’s released four chart-topping albums, toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, collaborated with the likes of Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown, Ringo Starr and many others, and has played at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and several more major festivals.
- Wisenheimer Longform Improv Comedy
Saturday, Sept. 17 | Teehee’s Comedy Club
This comedy troupe out of Chicago will leave your belly aching from all the laughter! Featuring Leslie Mitchell, Jeff De Leon and Jen Kuhle.
- Dixie’s Tupperware Party
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – Sunday, Oct. 2 | Temple Theater
This is “not your grandmother’s Tupperware party!” according to NBC’s Today Show. Dixie Longate will have the audience howling with laughter with her funny tales, audience participation and homespun wisdom. Recommended for ages 16 and older.
- Greta Van Fleet Dreams in Gold Tour
Wednesday, Sept. 21 | Wells Fargo Arena
Greta Van Fleet takes the stage, along with special guests Houndmouth and Robert Finley. Their highly lauded album The Battle at Garden’s Gate debuted at #1 Billboard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Hard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Vinyl Album, #2 Top Album Sales and in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
- Chastity Washington – Milwaukee Stand-up Comedian
Friday, Sept. 23 | Teehee’s Comedy Club
Washington, an NBC Diversity finalist and HBO Comedy Wings winner, is bringing lots of laughs to Downtown DSM. She has been on BET, the Just for Laughs Festival and Marth’s Vineyard Comedy Fest. Two showtimes are available to choose from.
- I Love Porter! Andrew Walesch Jazz Orchestra Plays Cole Porter
Friday, Sept. 23 | Noce Jazz Club
Walesch’s 10-piece orchestra will perform favorite tunes by Cole Porter. Attendees may hear songs such as “You’re the Top,” “Anything Goes,” “Let’s Misbehave” and “You’ve Got That Thing.”
- The Cult in Concert
Saturday, Sept. 24 | Hoyt Sherman Place
An English rock band formed in the ‘80s, The Cult will perform onstage including songs such as “Fire Woman,” “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain.”
- Des Moines Symphony Opening Night Celebration & Season Debut
Saturday, Sept. 24 | Savery Hotel Courtyard and Des Moines Civic Center
Join in the kickoff to the 85th season of the Des Moines Symphony! The season opener includes Gershwin, Rodrigo and Ravel conducted by Joseph Giunta along with guitarist Sharon Isbin as a special guest.
- Music in the Garden: The Feel Right
Thursday, Sept. 29 | Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
The Feel Right bring a blend of jazz, pop, R&B and Neo-Soul to the stage. The band is led by Sharane Calister, a finalist of The Voice, and is supported by five top DSM musicians.
- KC Saxophonist Adam Larson
Friday, Sept. 30 | Noce Jazz Club
National jazz performer, Adam Larson, will take the stage at Noce as part of his new album release. He has been described by Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich as “a player for whom the word ‘prodigious’ was coined.”
- Late Night with Son Peruchos
Friday, Sept. 30 | Noce Jazz Club
This Des Moines-based troupe brings a fusion of Andean and South American folk music, integrating traditional Andean vibes with modern Caribbean and Latin rhythms spanning bachata, cumbia and rock en español. Listen closely for traditional instruments such as zampona, quena and charango.
For even more upcoming Downtown Des Moines (DSM) events, visit the Downtown DSM events calendar. Plus, follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.
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