CEDAR RAPIDS — Opus Concert Cafe, home to Orchestra Iowa chamber concerts, wedding receptions, celebrity meet-and-greets has a new series in its mix. Now Hear This has launched as a showcase for the area’s emerging musical talent.
On the heels of the popular First Friday Jazz series, the new venture will be held the first Tuesday following the first Friday of each month.
Logan Adam Schultz, operations manager for Orchestra Iowa, is stepping into the spotlight for solo and duo sets with Tim Riven on Tuesday night (11/7). Backed by full bands, Schultz will pull from a variety of genres, including jazz, rock and pop, while Riven leans toward original works and cover songs in the folk/Americana realm.
Both Cedar Rapids musicians are familiar faces on local theatrical stages, but this concert gig is new territory for Schultz, 25, who last performed in Revival Theatre Company’s staging of “Violet” in February 2016.
“It’s my first time doing something like this, so it’s very challenging for me, which is exciting,” he said of the upcoming concert.
That’s the goal of the series, presented by Orchestra Iowa and produced by GMixEast, an artist development company based in Cedar Rapids and headed by Gerard Estella. A composer, producer, sound technician, band leader, guitarist and keyboard player.
“It’s all Gerard,” Schultz said of the series’ genesis. “He wanted to start this new artist development series, and reached out to myself, and then a few months later, to Tim. He just wanted to challenge us to try something new and see where we can go with it. I think we all kind of view it as a bit of an audition, to see what we’re capable of and what could come next.
“There’s a lot of potential in the series,” Schultz said, pointing to Lacie de Souza and her band, Oceana, who launched the series Oct. 10.
The new series dovetails nicely with Schultz’s work with Orchestra Iowa as operations manager. He sees more programming like this in the intimate, 80-seat venue’s future.
“We’ve got a really nice momentum going on with these weeknight shows,” he said. “I think it’s very clear to us, based on the early reception to these new series, that there’s a need for things to do on Tuesday nights, Wednesday nights, especially earlier in the evenings. Things that are affordable and accessible to people, but are still of high quality. That’s really what we’re striving for — finding the balance there, making things accessible and just filling a need.”
WHAT: Now Hear This, featuring Logan Adam Schultz and Tim Riven
WHERE: Opus Concert Cafe, 119 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday (11/7)
TICKETS: $12, door, Orchestra Iowa Ticket Office or Artsiowa.com/tickets/concerts/now-hear-this-november/
UPCOMING SHOWS: Dec. 5: Alicia Monee and Alex Schulte; Jan. 9: Josh Misener