2018 Winter Blues Fest


Advance Tickets $45 Weekend Pass – or – $20/Friday and $30/Saturday
At the door admission goes up $5. CIBS Members receive $5 discount on Weekend Pass only.


Admissions & Will Call – 1st Floor
(Open 5pm Friday and 4pm Saturday)
Volunteer Check-In – 2nd Floor
Merchandise – 3rd Floor


Friday, Feb 9 – Schedule
Lobby Lounge 5:00-6:15
Bryce Janey

Dubuque Room
3rd Floor
7:00-8:30 Eric Jerardi

9:00-11:00 Anthony Gomes

Des Moines Room
3rd Floor
7:30-9:00 Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys

9:30-11:30  Jason Ricci

Saturday Afternoon Extras!

Guitar Workshop with Andy Cohen
Des Moines Room
3rd Floor 1-3PM
Andy Cohen is a virtuoso finger-style guitarist who has been described as “a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia.” Everyone is welcome! 

Musicians Swap Meet
Waterloo Room
3rd Floor 1-4PM
All are invited to bring music equipment for sale or swap. Guitars, amps, drums, pedals, etc… Hosted by Frank Strong

Saturday, Feb 10 – Schedule
Lobby Lounge 4:00-5:30
Kevin “BF” Burt
2018 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Winner!

7:30-9:00 Andy Cohen

Rock River Lounge
2nd floor
Aaron Earl Short

Salon D
2nd floor
5:00-6:30 Rex Granite Band w/Sarah Benck
Nebraska Blues Challenge Winner

7:00-9:00 Heath Alan Band

9:30-11:30 Ken Valdez
Minnesota Blues Challenge Winner

Salon E
2nd floor
Taylor Smith Band
Kansas City Blues Challenge Winner

Avey/Grouws Band
Iowa Blues Challenge Band Winner

Dubuque Room
3rd floor
5:00-6:30 Malcolm Wells & the Two-Timers

7:00-9:00 Kilborn Alley Blues Band

9:30-10:30 Scotty & the Wingtips

10:30-??? OPEN JAM

Des Moines Room
3rd floor
6:00-7:30 Amanda Fish Band

8:00-9:30 Grand Marquis

10:00-11:30 Steepwater Band

12:00-1:30 Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal


Where: Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA

Thank You to Our Sponsors!




700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA
Blues Fest Group Rate of $125 is available for a limited
number of rooms. Book online HERE or call 515-245-5500


401 Locust St, Des Moines  IA  50309
Blues Fest Group Rate of $129 is available for a
number of rooms. Book online HERE


418 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
Blues Fest Group Rate of $139 is available for a
number of rooms. Book online HERE


International Blues Challenge #34 – Jan 16-20 2018


Congratulations to Kevin “BF” Burt (solo) and the Avey Grouws Band (band)! They will represent Iowa in Memphis at The Blues Foundation’s 34th International Blues Challenge. Join us in January where they will showcase their talent on Beale Street! Click HERE to learn more about the International Blues Challenge.

CIBS 25th Anniversary Party!

Video & Photo Recap!

Sunday, October 22nd, we celebrated our 25th anniversary with some of Iowa’s very best blues on a perfect fall day at the Des Moines Social Club! Commemorative tees flew off the shelves along with lots of other cool merchandise. We processed gobs of membership renewals and signed up many new members. Each of the performances were recorded and there’s a strong possibility we’ll be releasing a 25th Anniversary CD… stay tuned for that. Media volunteers, Jay and Jen, were on hand to capture video and photos of the event. Check it out!

CIBS 25th Anniversary Party!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22 @ The Des Moines Social Club

Join us for a incredible day of celebrating CIBS 25th year with some of the very best blues Iowa has to offer. We’ll have brand new CIBS 25th Anniversary t-shirts, four food trucks, a great selection of beverages available, and more surprises. We’ll use the outdoor courtyard stage if weather permits. Alternately, we’ll use both inside stages.


  • Bob Pace Band
    (12 – 1:30)
  • The Soul Searchers
    (1:30 – 3:00)
  • Malcolm Wells & The Two Timers
    (3:00 – 4:30)
  • JC Anderson Band Revisited with JC, Doug Johnson, Terri Benson, Tom Murphy, and Scott Dawson
    (4:00 – 5:30)
  • Iowa Blues Hall of Fame All Star Band withBob Dorr, Dan “DJ” Johnson, Tom Giblin, Jeff Petersen, Del “Saxman” Jones,  and Sam Salomone
    (5:30 – 7:00)
  • All Star Finale Jam!
    (7 – 9)


Plenty of FREE parking. Here’s a handy guide ->


2017 Iowa Blues Challenge

Iowa Blues Challenge Finals

Saturday, September 16 – 5 pm @ Des Moines Social Club
Finals presented by Central Iowa Blues Society


  • Bruce Kort & Forrest Rische (5:00-5:30)
  • Freight Train Frank Strong (5:45-6:15)
  • Kevin B.F. Burt (6:30-7:00) – WINNER


  • Blue Scratch (7:15-7:45)
  • Avey Grouws Band (8:00-8:30) – WINNER
  • Hound Dog Shy (8:45-9:15)
Solo/Duo Preliminaries

Sunday, July 16 – 5 pm @ Zimm’s Food & Spirits
Des Moines Prelim presented by Central Iowa Blues Society

$10 (or $5 for any current Iowa Blues Society member)

  • Friends & Neighbors (5:00 – 5:30)
  • Rob Lumbard (5:45-6:15)
  • Aaron Earl Short (6:30-7:00)
  • Kevin B.F. Burt (7:15-7:45) – finalist

Saturday, August 6 @ Rock Island Brewing Co
Quad Cities Prelim presented by Mississippi Valley Blues Society

  • Bruce Kort & Forrest Rische – finalist
  • Juliana Logan
  • Concreteslim

Fairfield Prelim presented by Southeast Iowa Blues Society

  • Freight Train Frank Strongwill advance to the IABC Solo/Duo Finals since there is only one participant in Fairfield 
Band Preliminaries

Thursday, July 20 – 7:30 pm @ Lefty’s Live Music
Des Moines Prelim presented by Central Iowa Blues Society

$10 (or $5 for any current Iowa Blues Society member)

  • Scotty & the Wingtips (7:30-8:00)
  • Avey Grouws Band (8:15-8:45) – finalist

Saturday, August 6 @ Rock Island Brewing Co
Quad Cities Prelim presented by Mississippi Valley Blues Society

  • Blue Scratch – finalist
  • Juliana & a Soul Purpose
  • Reggie & the Three Notes

Grinnell Prelim presented by South Skunk Blues Society

  • Hound Dog Shywill advance to the IABC Band Finals since there is only one participant in Grinnell


Freight Train Frank Strong

Friends & Neighbors

Aaron Earl Short

Rob Lumbard


Kevin “B.F.” Burt

Bruce Kort & Forrest Rische

Juliana Logan


Hound Dog Shy

Scotty & the Wingtips


Avey Grouws Band

Juliana & A Soul Purpose

Reggie & the Three Notes

Blue Scratch

The 2017 Iowa Blues Challenge is proudly Sponsored by


Exile Brewing

Junior’s Motel

Rieman Music

VividPix & Design

Des Moines Social Club

Iowa Public Radio

Mississippi Valley Blues Society

South Skunk Blues Society

Southeast Iowa Blues Society

and presented by the Central Iowa Blues Society

SpringFest May 28 – FREE EVENT!

Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Pkwy, DM

2:00 – 3:00 / Rob Lumbard
3:30 – 5:00 / Amanda Fish
5:30 – 7:00 / The Bel Airs
7:30 – 9:00 / Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal

Come celebrate great music in a perfect setting at Jasper Winery, Memorial Weekend. Admission is FREE! All ages are welcome. Please bring blankets or lawn chairs. Wine from Jasper Winery, Beer from Madhouse Brewing, and BBQ and MORE from food vendors will be available to purchase.

(Please, DO NOT bring your own alcohol, it is against Iowa State Law. Any alcohol must be purchased from the winery.)


… a video playlist from the event
(from Jay Gilliam)

Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Induction Celebration

The Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Induction Celebration for the Class of 2016 will be held Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Noce (1326 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA). The new inductees are: Ellis Kell, Tony Blew, Dan “DJ” Johnson, J. C. Anderson, and Fletcher Henderson “Sonny” Lott.

Sumpin’ Doo – host band
Food by Flying Mango

Doors Open and Food at 5pm
Sumpin’ Doo 6 – 6:30 Induction Ceremony follows.
IBHOF Jam following Induction Ceremony until 10pm

… a few photos from the event
(from Jen Taylor & Kit Lancaster)

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Curtis Salgado

The Curtis Salgado show scheduled for March 19 at Noce in Des Moines, IA is cancelled. We hope to reschedule at a later date. Advance ticket holders will be credited. Central Iowa Blues Society wishes Curtis a full and speedy recovery!


Award-winning soul and blues singer Curtis Salgado will undergo triple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, New Hampshire area hospital on Friday, March 10, 2017. Salgado was admitted to the hospital on March 7 after what doctors described as a mild heart attack. A cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage. Please keep Curtis in your thoughts and prayers!

“We expect the surgery to be successful and anticipate a full recovery,” according to Salgado’s manager Shane Tappendorf. An update will be sent out after surgery.

Join us Sunday, March 19 for Curtis Salgado with a special opening solo performance by Danielle Nicole! Showtime is 6 PM at Noce, 1326 Walnut St.

$25 General Public / $20 CIBS Members – TICKETS
(members receive their discount at the door)
All Ages until 9PM

With a career spanning forty years, award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist/harmonicist/songwriter Curtis Salgado is a one-of-a-kind talent whose music is as compelling as his story. From co-fronting The Robert Cray Band to leading his own band (and recording nine solo albums) to helping transform John Belushi into “Joliet” Jake Blues to touring the country with Steve Miller and Santana, he is a true musical giant. NPR calls him “a blues icon” with a “huge voice.” Salgado earned a reputation for high-intensity  performances and a repertoire inspired by his encyclopedic knowledge of soul, blues and R&B music. He’s a multiple Blues Music Award winner (formerly W.C. Handy Awards) and currently nominated for three more!

Inspired, powerful R&B showcases Salgado’s exceptional range and muscular, soulful vocals” – Billboard

Triumphant, joyful blues-soaked R&B…one of the most soulful, honest singers ever” – Blues Revue

Danielle Nicole (Solo) opens the show!

23rd Winter Blues Fest – Photos & Video

Winter Blues Fest – Video Playlist
by Jay Gilliam captured and compiled a playlist of videos
from each of the Winter Blues Fest performers

Winter Blues Fest – Photos
by Kit Lancaster


Winter Blues Fest – Photos
by Jen Taylor

Mike Farris – March 6!

Join us Monday, March 6 for an evening with Mike Farris! Showtime is 6 PM at Noce, 1326 Walnut St.

$25 General Public / $20 CIBS Members
(members receive their discount at the door)
All Ages until 9PM

Mike Farris is a musical renaissance man. He’s toured as lead singer for the Southern Rock Band Screaming Cheetah Wheelies, and following the demise of blues & rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughn, as the lead singer for the incomparable blues band, Double Trouble. In his solo career he began to rediscover and reinterpret traditional black spiritual music by adding his own mix of vintage southern soul. For his efforts, Farris won the prestigious Americana Music Award for Best New & Emerging Artist, a Dove Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album of the Year and a 2015 GRAMMY® award for Best Roots Gospel Album.


…a gospel-fueled voice that sounds like a cross between the hard rock blast of Bon Scott and the joyful sweetness of Al Green “ – ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Never have I had so many people pitching me on an artist, and not I’m not talking just his people. Retailers, TV executives, other journalists and a array of music-loving folks have called or e-mailed or shoved a CD in my hand…“ – BILLBOARD

Mike Farris sings blue-eyed soul to soothe the spirit.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS

Out of the arms of defeat Mike Farris has done a victory lap… He takes people who are hurting, who are broken, who think they are alone and through just the sound of his voice he lets them know that they’re not…that’s magic.” – MARY GAUTHIER

Farris surrounds himself with a heavenly soundtrack that slides effortlessly between Stax soul, New Orleans gospel and shuffling Southern blues, all of it punctuated with Farris’ smoldering vocals and clear message of redemption.” – HARP

The Bel Airs – March 4!

Join us Saturday, March 4 for the Bel Airs with a special opening performance by The Soul Searchers! Showtime is 7 PM (doors at 6PM) at Noce, 1326 Walnut St. $20 general public / $15 CIBS members. All Ages until 9PM.

Fronted by brothers Dick and Dave Pruitt on bass and electric guitars, with Michael Cherry on drums, The Bel Airs play a danceable mix with an authentic but eclectic bluesy-country-soul-and-rock-n-roll sound influenced by the likes of Wilson Picket, Slim Harpo, Howlin’ Wolf and Johnny Cash.

?Living on the road and playing clubs from “Austin to Boston”, the Bel Airs are carrying on the tradition of American Rhythm and Blues. The band is fronted by brothers Dick and Dave Pruitt on bass and electric guitars. Growing up on country soul and rock-n-roll, the Pruitt brothers have developed a harmony vocal style all their own. They have been performing together for more than 30 years, wowing audiences nightly with their unique brand of music- leading one reviewer to refer to them as the “Everly Brothers of Blues.”

With four acclaimed albums and performances at festivals and night clubs across the USA as well as England, France, Belgium and Spain, the band continues to travel extensively. The Bel Airs’ musical approach and superbly crafted showmanship make for a more than memorable concert whenever they appear.

Get tickets here!


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2017 Webster-Wagner Scholarship

The application period for the Webster-Wagner Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year opens on December 15, 2016 and continues until April 15, 2017.  The $500 grant recipient will be announced on or about June 1, 2017.

Click Here to Download W-W Scholarship Fact sheet

Lynette Webster and Jeff Wagner have both been instrumental to the success of the Central Iowa Blues Society from its inception through its first 20 years.  Lynette represented CIBS as its President for nine years (1998-2001, 2004-2007, 2010-2013) in addition to eleven years in various other positions on the CIBS Board.  After having spent three years as CIBS Treasurer and three years as President, Jeff became the managing owner of Blues on Grand.  In that capacity, “Dr. Doubt” became ineligible to hold elected office in CIBS, however he continued to serve as Chair of the Finance & Fundraising committee until 2013.  Jeff is also a former member of the Blues Foundation Board of Directors.  In recognition of their years of service, and in culmination of a goal of the society since its inception, the Central Iowa Blues Society is proud to announce the establishment in 2013 of the Webster-Wagner Scholarship, a $500 annual grant to assist in the education of a young person showing an interest in or aptitude for America’s original musical art form, the blues.