Local artists to continue showcase series

Dan Tedesco to play at the All Iowa Arts Showcase on March 10th at 7:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Dan Tedesco

Dan Tedesco to play at the All Iowa Arts Showcase on March 10th at 7:00 p.m.


This week will conclude with the second concert date of the All Iowa Arts Showcase. On Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m. in the Ames City Auditorium, Ben Schrag and the Cautionaries and Dan Tedesco will take the stage.

The event is aimed to bring local artists, regional artists and the Ames community together to build connections. The event will also have local art and concessions in the lobby of the Auditorium to help showcase the underutilized space.

Hailing out of the suburbs of Chicago, Dan Tedesco has been playing music since he could walk. The artist of four full-length albums now calls Des Moines home, playing over 150 shows a year all over the Midwest.

“[The] only serious addiction in my life has been with music,” said Tedesco. At only 11 years old, Tedesco had already started to play the piano, violin and guitar.

“Most mornings everyone would hang out in the lunchroom. Not me. I’d head straight to the school’s band rehearsal hall, writing music on the computer,” said Tedesco. Being a social introvert, he found comfort and confidence in the world of rock and roll.

Outside of school, Tedesco jammed in a band with friends. Always discovering new genres and artists, they gained inspiration for their own music. Lacking a vocalist, a lot of the first demos produced by Tedesco was instrumental music.

After Tedesco’s band in Chicago started to fizzle out, Tedesco was forced to go solo.

“There’s a tremendous freedom playing solo, with no strict arrangements to follow,” said Tedesco. Writing and producing solo forced Tedesco to start to push his boundaries and really lean on himself.

Being on your own can really start to put in new perspectives on who you are and what you are trying to achieve. Tedesco was able to overcome this challenge and start to find his sound in a refreshing way.

Releasing his self-titled album in 2015, Tedesco produced 10 songs completely on his iPad. “I like to do things coming from different angles than people typically would,” said Tedesco. The unique approach to this album created stripped-down sounds, making it seem like you are in the room with him.

When asked about his inspirations and infuences, there was no simple, one artist answer. Listing names from The Beatles to Van Halen, Tedesco went on to list an artist from almost every genre known to man. But there is one that beats them all, the late Tom Petty.

“The strength of a local music scene relies heavily upon creating, and supporting opportunities for local artists,” said Tedesco. Tedesco has played in Ames many times including shows at the M-Shop and DG’s Tap House.

Ben Schrag and the Cautionaries is an Ames based quartet made up of Ben Schrag on the guitar and vocals, Cal Rebhuhn on the Cajon, Jim McNamara on the upright bass and Sara Goplin playing the violin.

Playing together for over two years, Schrag and Rebhuhn added McNamara and Goplin last year to expand their sound. Goplin, an Ames native, currently plays for the Des Moines Symphony as well.

With a mixture of indie-folk music, the band loves to play acoustic. This sound is different from the bar environment, embracing the Ames spirit.

“We are always trying to make a connection with listeners, [music] is for sharing,” said Schrag and Rebhuhn. Often in Ames the local music scene is popular in bars, which can cause restrictions to most undergraduate students. The band focuses on filling the Ames music scene with events like the All Iowa Arts Showcase that is available to everyone, not only those 21 and over.

“The event will showcase the facility, an incredible resource of the Auditorium,” said Schrag. The Ames auditorium is one of the largest venues in Ames, hosting more than 800 people. But is underutilized in local events.

“Ben Schrag has the most beautiful vocals on earth they literally make my ears cry,” said one fan. Schrag has quite a knack for songwriting and singing in his free time. Schrag and his wife, a theatre professor here at Iowa State, developed and wrote the original music for the Iowa State’s latest production, “Iphigenia.”

You can also find Ben Schrag and the Cautionaries playing on April 20 at the Uncertainty Festival here in Ames at DG’s Tap House. 

The lineup for the rest of the concert dates is as followed:

March 10, 2018 at 7 p.m.: Ben Schrag and The Cautionaries & Dan Tedesco

March 16, 2018 at 7 p.m.: Bitter Canyon & Matt Woods

April 13, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.: Jen McClung & Elizabeth Moen

April 20, 2018: Evan Campbell & Patresa Hartman

More information on the All Iowa Arts Showcase can be found on the Ames City Auditorium Facebook page or on the City of Ames Calendar.