Shorter Stories: Chris Merz & Co. Play Wayne Shorter

  • February 2, 2024 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM
  • Noce

    1326 Walnut Street
    Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Ticket Price $18.00-$44.00 This event is now over

Virtuosic saxophonist Chris Merz has put together an All-Star cast to celebrate the music of the great Wayne Shorter. 

Christopher Merz (saxophone), Jon Ailabouni (trumpet), Anthony Williams (trombone), Bob Dunn (guitar), Mike Conrad (piano), Alex Pershounin (bass), Josh Hakanson (drums)


Multi-reed instrumentalist Christopher Merz has performed on 4 continents with members of the Brubeck family, including Dave Brubeck. During his 3-year stint as Lecturer of Jazz and Saxohone at the University of Natal in Durban, he performed with many of the giants of South African jazz including Hugh Masekela, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, and Barney Rachabane.

His recording credits include Steve McCraven, Darius Brubeck, John Rapson and Jon Snell, as well as his own projects; Counterculture, the Chris Merz/Bob Washut Duo, The X-tet, and Equilateral. His 1997 release with the X-tet, Mystery is My Story, prompted Dave Brubeck to write, “I am very pleased with this wonderful band. Naturally I would admire a group like yours that, to me, is a grand extension of what we were doing...when we were the ‘new thing’”. Current projects include Colossus Central (an exciting new big band led by UNI alum Michael Conrad) and the quartet, Christopher’s Very Happy. Band., which performs Merz’s originals exclusively. CVH.B.’s debut cd, We Are Bathed in Sunlight, was recently released on RealTown! Records. An accomplished composer/arranger for large jazz ensembles, Merz has received commissions from university and high school big bands throughout the country, and is published through UNC Jazz Press and ejazzlines. He is also a highly sought after guest soloist, clinician and conductor at university and high school jazz festivals nationwide, and is endorsed by Rico and TM Custom tenor saxophones.

Director of Jazz Studies at UNI, and the 2006 recipient of the CHFA University Book and Supply Outstanding Teaching award, Merz directs the award winning UNI Jazz Band One (which has recorded 13 compact disc under his leadership). He is the founder and director of the UNI Combo Camp, an annual event for high school jazz students and music educators, which takes place in June. He is also a Past President of Jazz Educators of Iowa (JEI).

Date & Time

Fri, Feb 2, 2024 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM

Venue Details


1326 Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309 Noce

Noce is a modern jazz club and cabaret established to present Des Moines with some of the greatest jazz music & theater from around the Midwest. With locally & nationally renowned live entertainment several nights each week in our cabaret lounge & rental space available to the community at large, Noce provides music lovers with an experience unparalleled in the state of Iowa. To complement our top-class performers, Noce features a jazz age cocktail bar, serving vintage and contemporary libations. In addition to our 100 seat cabaret lounge, we also feature a 2,500 sq. ft. rental space in the building that is available for events of every kind, from private dinners to full wedding receptions.

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