Iowa All Stars Tour: Curt Oren is getting the bands back together

Curt Oren returns to Iowa City on his "Iowa All Stars Tour" Friday, March 27 at the Trumpet Blossom
Curt Oren returns to Iowa City Friday, March 27 as part of his “Iowa All Stars Tour” at the Trumpet Blossom

The Iowa All Stars Tour

Trumpet Blossom Cafe — Friday, March 27 at 9 p.m.

Curt Oren, the iconoclastic saxophonist and former fixture of the Iowa City music scene, heads back to town to kick off his Iowa All Stars Tour on Friday at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe.

It’s been almost three months since Oren relocated to Minnesota and this tour is a chance for old friends to catch up, play a few shows and collectively showcase some of the best (and most outlandish) of what Iowa’s independent music scene has to offer.

“I think what’s most exciting for me coming back to the Midwest is being back with people I know and love,” Oren said. “That’s the entire reason this tour was organized in the first place, to have a chance to hang out with my friends that I only get to see maybe every month or so.”

The tour features Dana T, Extravision, Dylan Sires and Neighbors, along with Brooks Strause and The Suicidal Ideations (a band specifically created for this tour only). All of the acts are made up of local Iowa artists who have strong bonds with one another that began far before this tour. Though Oren has played with all of these musicians previously, the tour promises to take their collaborations to an entirely different level.

“All of the material that we’re playing is going to be new in some sense, as we’ll all be collaborating and making each other’s songs our own,” Oren said. “We’re all also in the process of writing, recording and releasing new records, so a great deal of the material will be completely unheard before.”

However, it’s not just the music of the tour itself that’s unique. Oren’s performances and tours always end up with some sort of ongoing joke, taking music-making to a realm of theatrics that many aren’t used to. In Oren’s most recent tour he tried, in vain, to get sponsored by Planet Fitness, and then, in his own words, took it upon himself to “spread the word about this great company” with frequent Facebook updates offering tongue-in-cheek praise for the business along with photos showing his car plastered in “Planet Fitness” stickers during the course of his tour.

“I feel like for my tours in general, and this tour especially, I try to make them more than just some guy playing music for you,” Oren said. “This tour is just going to be seven buds in a car for 10 days, so the opportunity for jokes is endless.”

The tour will make stops in places like Cedar Falls, Ames and Fairfield in addition to towns outside of Iowa such as Columbia, Missouri and Rock Island, Illinois. Each stop will be just as theatrical, engaging and odd as the last, but never quite the same.

“These shows are going to be completely unlike anything people have seen from these bands. We’re all good friends, and we all have a great respect for each other’s music,” Oren said. “We’ll also all be collaborating with each other in new and different ways each night, so each performance promises to be a wholly unique experience that won’t ever happen again.”

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.