John Pemble

Arts and Culture Reporter

John Pemble is the Arts and Culture reporter at Iowa Public Radio. In 1989, John began his Iowa Public Radio career in Fort Dodge as a program host for jazz, classical, and contemporary instrumental music programs. He joined Iowa Public Radio’s news department in 2008 to produce arts and culture stories.

John spent ten years as an adjunct professor for Iowa Central Community College’s broadcasting department teaching production and operations classes.

John's favorite public radio program is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

Ways To Connect

This weekend the annual alternative music festival Eighty Thirty Five marks it’s fifth consecutive year of bringing national acts like Avett Brothers and Death Cab for Cutie to Des Moines.  For some these are new and unusual bands and festival organizers say this is one of the key reasons they put together this music event.

In the early 20th century Iowa had close to 1,000 opera houses but now only a few hundred are still standing and many of them are abandoned.  This summer an Iowa musician is doing a series of performances in restored opera houses highlighting these building’s historic value while showcasing contemporary musicians. 

Last Friday a new painting was unveiled in Cedar Rapids titled “You Know, We’re all in This Together”.  The work features dozens of optimistic community members in a scene about a city still recovering from the devastating flood of 2008.

Grinnell College

A young composer who is seen by many as an up-and-coming talent will soon have his new piece performed on the East Coast.  His work was written for and premiered this spring by the Grinnell College choir.  It combines the unlikely pairing of Irish poetry about Iowa with biblical passages about an apocalypse sung in Arabic.

John Pemble

Des Moines based indie rock musician Chris Ford is trying out a new venue for releasing his new CD. Instead of a typical release party or concert, he’s unveiling the work at a venue that brings musicians together with authors and visual artists during a weeklong event -- the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City.

 

For thirty six years the Ames Piano Quartet has been Iowa State University’s resident chamber music ensemble. Their accomplishments include worldwide tours and a discography of fifteen releases. Next month, two of the founding members will retire resulting in the biggest personnel change in the quartet’s history.

Photo by John Pemble

Many movies are created by large studios for theaters and television, but a group of Iowa film makers launched a small movie production company with the plan of only using the Internet to reach an audience. With small a budget and help from volunteers they’ve had their first taste of success on a national level.



 

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