Break Even


Where: VFW – 113 East Maple Street

When: Friday, January 20th, 2017 | 8PM – 11PM

Break Even was formed in 2010. We regularly perform all over the region, from Sioux Falls, to Mitchell, Sioux City. In addition to our more experienced crowd, we want to reach young folks in the area who yearn for live Country Music they can dance to in a pleasant environment. Come give us a listen…. we’ve got something for everyone. Break Even plays all your favorite Country Music, from today’s chart toppers to the timeless classics of yesterday, and hard drivin’ tunes of Country Rock’s renegades. If you like to dance, we want to be your band. We perform for all ages, both young and experienced


Damon Dotson


Where: Brightside; 225 West Main Street

When: Friday, January 20th, 2017 | 9 PM – Midnight

Damon Dotson is a singer/songwriter based out of Des Moines, IA and originally from Northwest Iowa. Dotson has opened for legendary performers like BB King, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, as well as modern artists like Matt Nathanson, Edwin McCain, and The Lone Bellow. Dotson has sustained his career for ten years including the release of four of his original albums and countless shows all throughout the midwest without a record label or management.


After a two year stint in Nashville, TN, Dotson moved back to Des Moines with new sense of musical and personal maturity. He wasted little time jumping back into touring and began recording his fourth album. The release of “Tumblin'” in March of 2015 clearly demonstrates his bold transformation with a variety of up-beat tunes and heart melting ballads. On the heals of a SOLD OUT album release show with over 600 in attendance the release of “Tumblin” on iTunes garnered nationwide acclaim by climbing to #24 on the iTunes rock charts. Amidst musical giants like The Beatles, Elton John, and Pink Floyd on the charts it proves that Damon’s music and talent “belongs” and deserves to be heard on a large scale. Dotson channeled his heroes like Dave Matthews and Willie Nelson to make a sound that is all his own, and it’s working! Damon was also recently invited to sing “America The Beautiful” on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Iowa State Capitol

in Des Moines.  He is only one of two people to share this honor; the other being world renowned opera singer Simon Estes. Dotson has also sang the National Anthem at big time sporting events at Hilton Colesium in Ames, IA, Wells Fargo arena in Des Moines, IA, and TD Ameritrade ball park in Omaha, NE. Damon Dotson continues to perform both solo and full band shows at venues from Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago, and Iowa. The infectious and true delivery of Dotson’s live show cannot be missed.



Chad Elliott



Where: Gasthaus 214 West Main Street

When: Friday, January 20th, 2017 | 9 PM – Midnight


Hector Anchondo


Where: The Gathering Place, 207 West Main Street

When: Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Jam Session | 1PM – 5PM;

Pub Crawl | 8PM-11PM

Band Bio: Hector Anchondo doesn’t just play the blues— he lives and breathes the blues. At 16-years-old, the budding musician picked up his first guitar and never looked back. He began an instant love affair with the instrument, especially Fenders. Born in Omaha, but raised seven miles outside of Salem, Missouri, Anchondo was able to take advantage of the tranquil farm life and learn guitar at a steady pace. He was drawn to those artists who played Fender Stratocasters like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton, but also respected the country greats such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr. As he got older, his propensity for music only intensified. After playing countless shows at family gatherings and hole-in-the-wall dive bars, Anchondo made the move back to Omaha, Nebraska in 2000. His first official recording, Rookies of the Year, was with his first band, Anchondo, and featured more energetic, Latin-influenced grooves. Recorded by the infamous A.J. Mogis of Presto! Studios (and later Saddle Creek Records), the album funded any touring for the next few years. With a home base in Omaha, it made traveling much easier.



Harper and Midwest Kind


Where: Loft 101, 101 N 2nd Street

When: Saturday, January 21st, 2017  |  9PM to Midnight

Band Bio: Award-winning Australian singer/songwriter Peter D. Harper — known in the music world simply as “Harper” — creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo. Funded by his fans via a very successful “GoFundMe” campaign, Harper’s latest CD, “Show Your Love,” features 11 original road-tested tracks recorded with his well-traveled Detroit-based touring band “Midwest Kind.”

Harper Possesses a strong, resonant voice and a deep, almost mystical approach to music that some might say has evolved into its own genre. Harper calls it “World Blues” — a rich musical stew of ’50s rhythm and blues, a ’60s message of love and unity, and ’70s funky soul, stirred up with masterful harmonica and the deep, woody percussive tones of the didgeridoo, served up in a feast of timeless mystery.

Shane Martin


Where: VFW, 133 East Maple St.

When: Saturday, January 21st, 2017  |  9PM – Midnight

Bio: Shane Martin is quickly becoming one of the top draws in the modern country rock genre.  The Minnesota based Nashville recording artist routinely performs over 150 shows per year throughout the Midwest and continues to expand his touring and fan base.  Shane Martin’s band is a diversified group of experienced and talented musicians and has shared the stage with numerous national country acts.  Together the group blends infectious originals and memorable cover songs with hard driving beats, melodic grooves, and vocal harmonies.  Shane Martin concerts are a high energy good time that gets a crowd on their feet dancing, singing along, and always leave them wanting more.


J. Jeffrey Messerole


Where: Brightside Lounge, 225 West Main Street

When: Saturday, January 21st, 2017  |  5PM – 8PM

Bonus Band – No Admission Charged!

Bio: Self-taught guitarist, J. Jeffrey Messerole is a story telling, songwriter from Iowa’s Great Lakes region. Messerole masterfully blends the sound of his guitar, with haunting lyrics, and harmonica to tell gritty american tales, bound to evoke emotion from all of his listeners. Each song is a poignant, and sometimes, painful, snapshot of the lives of old souls and modern folk alike. With stories spanning the country from coast to coast, he’s happy to share his original folk, blues, and alternative country music rooted right here, in the heart of the Great Plains.

Mearl Lake Orchestra

Where: Western Iowa Tech Conference Center, 200 Victory Drive

When: Saturday, January 21st, 2017  |  6PM – 9PM





Northwest Iowa MusiciansNW-Iowa-musicians

This Performance is dedicated in honor of RJ Baker, original organizer of the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival.

Where: The Copper Cup, 425 West Main Street

When: Friday, January 20th, 2017  |  6PM to 9PM

David Napier – Dave Napier has played with many bands in the Sioux City Iowa Area including the Seven Sons and The Velaires. He also spent several years working in the Music Field in the Chicago Area. He now plays with a Dixieland group, the Dixie Daddies. He as appeard at IRRHOF events several times performing with The Velaires, Flames and others. He is a very accomplished Musician who has the ability to pick up almost any Instrument and play it. He also is a singer and has added great background vocals on many recordings.

Eddie Dunn – Professional musician since a teenager, electric bass player and vocalist. From 1981 – 1986 played with “Jazz Portraits”, touring jazz quintet funded by the SD Arts Council. Later played with various groups in Seattle and in the San Francisco Bay area. Recorded 1 jazz CD with trio “Red Road.” For the last 24 years has played jazz in Sioux City and around the upper Midwest.

Steve Smith – Steve Smith has been playing jazz since age 5 when he appeared on a Sioux City television program, Toast for Teens. He played on that show with Cherokee’s own Tommy Thomas. Later Tommy spent many years performing with Louis Prima and Sam Butara in Las Vegas. Steve played throughout high school with his Dad’s band which performed in the Northwest Iowa area for about 30 years. He featured Cherokee’s Art Awe on piano. Mr. Awe was a very proficient jazz stride pianist in the style of Fats Waller. Steve attended Iowa State and performed in and later was the director of the ISU Jazz ensemble. As a saxophone player with the Spectacle rhythm and blues band Steve was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Through the years he performed in his own groups including Gentle Persuasion with his wife Linda on drums. He played with many area jazz musicians through the years including Marty Crandell, Jeff Guntren, Chris Smith, and Reggie Schive. For the past 12 years, Steve played piano in the Dick Bauman Monday Night Big Band at Okoboji. Also, he has performed as keyboardist for the Northwest Iowa Musicians in the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival in January from 2006 through January 2013.

Ray Guntren – Ray was born and reared in Storm Lake, Iowa. He’s been playing guitar since he was fourteen. Prior to having a “real” guitar, his first string instrument was a shoe box with rubber bands stretched across. His love of music was partly influenced by his father’s “old time” fiddling.  In the mid-60’s Ray helped form a rock band by the name of “the Galaxies”. The group evolved into an ensemble by the name of “The Soul Survivors”. That group changed its name to “Milk & Honey” after another band with the same name garnered a top forty hit. The five piece group traveled the Midwest playing dance halls and various community functions. Ray left the group in 1968. He was playing in a night club in Burlington, Iowa when he got a offer for full time employment as an apprentice instrument technician with MidBell Music in Storm Lake.

In 1972, he was promoted to manager of a newly opened MidBell branch store in Sioux City. Musically, Ray spent the next 20 years playing with church ensembles and for his own enjoyment. In the early 90’s, Ray rekindled his love of Jazz and playing. He was influenced partly by the fine playing by his two sons Mike & Jeff who were up and coming saxophone players. Both sons got to experience “jazz combo’ work with “Dad” playing rhythm guitar. Mike is general manager of Ray’s MidBell Music and played with Sioux City’s own “Board of Directors” 10 piece Chicago style big band. Jeff graduated from UNI with a degree in jazz studies. He has traveled the world as a professional musician employed by Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, P&O, Cunard & Princess cruise lines.

Ray has played with the Sioux City Jazz Orchestra now the Reggie Schive Big Band, Northwest Iowa Big Band, The Eddie Dunn Project, Pete Hittle, Sioux City Orchestra, Briar Cliff University, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, and his own ensemble called Ambience, He is also a free-lancer with numerous area ensembles. Over the years, he has had the privilege of being on the stand with notables such as Roger Neuman, Mike Vax, Ryan & Justin Kisor, & Adam Schroeder. He has taught adult guitar instruction for Iowa Central and Western Iowa Tech as well as private group instruction. He is owner and operator of Ray’s MidBell Music in Sioux City. He also has a daughter who is studying piano and teaching at Indiana University while she is working on her doctorate in music theory. He resides in Sioux City with his wife and flutist, Karen.

Joey Gulizia – Joey Gulizia is a professional musician who has been performing since childhood. By the age of 6, he was on the stage, and at 10 he was singing and drumming regularly with his dad Joe Gulizia Sr, and brother Tony.
Along with performing and entertaining, Joey has been involved in music education for over 30 years. He has conducted hundreds of residencies, workshops and clinics for students of all ages. He’s been inducted to the “Nebraska Music Hall of Fame” and has received the “Excellence in Education” award by the Governor of Nebraska.

Music has taken him all over the world and he continues to travel extensively. He has worked on many musical projects, and can be heard on more than 50 recordings with various groups and individuals.
Just this past year, Joey was drumming in Austria and Switzerland with his brother Tony, and saxophonist Roger Neumann. He performed on the annual Gulizia Brothers Jazz Cruise to Central America, and once again toured with the Mannheim Steamroller playing orchestral percussion, and electronic woodwinds.

In the field of education he was involved with numerous school residencies, jazz camps, workshops and clinics. Currently he is Artist in Residence at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and is faculty jazz drummer at UNL.

Justin Kisor – Justin Kisor began playing trumpet professionally at the age of 13 with territory bands in Sioux City, IA. By the age of 17, Mr. Kisor was receiving international recognition as a jazz soloist.  Justin Kisor played and or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliff Gordon, Ben Wolfe, WInard Harper, Nora Jones, Charles Persip, and many more.  In 2001, Mr. Kisor graduated from Juilliard School and performed in the premier Navy jazz ensemble, the United States Navy Band Commodores.  Justin currently teaches trumpet at Morningside College and plays regularly throughout the area.