Dave Rezek, Artistic Director
In May of 2015, Des Moines Big Band trumpeter and bandleader of 30 years, Jim Oatts, retired and handed the baton to Des Moines native trumpeter Dave Rezek, who soon re-established the band's downtown Des Moines residency, as part of the grand opening of Des Moines' Noce Jazz & Cabaret club on Walnut Street. Dave is on the faculty of Susie Miget's Creative Music Studio, Iowa's only year-round private jazz studies school, where he teaches trumpet techniques, jazz improvisation and private trumpet instruction. He has been active as a leader, sideman, private teacher, clinician, festival adjudicator, and guest artist with colleges and high schools. He has maintained an active performance schedule outside the Des Moines Big Band, leading own original-music septet Dave Rezek’s Alpha State Agents, and performing as a member of Michael Conrad’s Colossus Big Band, Eric Thompson's Fun-time Music Hour, Parranderos Latin Combo, and as arranger/musical director for Max Wellman’s ensembles. Dave also founded the popular Friday Jazz Happy Hour series at The Basement in the Des Moines Social Club, and he was a 2015 recipient of a Community Jazz Center Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the jazz tradition in Central Iowa. Prior to his return to Des Moines in 2007, Dave had spent 10 years playing on the East Coast. In Boston, he completed his MM degree in jazz performance at New England Conservatory and performed as a member of a handful of large groups led by Bob Brookmeyer’s top composition students. Then in New York, he continued to perform with one such group that has gained additional critical acclaim – the 2-time Grammy Award Nominated large ensemble Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. He was also a designated sub for the smash Broadway hit Jersey Boys, with whom he performed on stage at the 2006 Tony Awards Show, where they earned Best Musical, and he subbed for numerous other Broadway shows.