Masters of Ceremonies

Evan Borst

As any older person will do, Evan spends most of his time passing on the dance he is passionate about, and yelling at kids to get off his lawn.  Evan loves to emcee at events across the Midwest, and demonstrates that the power of the microphone corrupts absolutely.

Andrew Thigpen

Andrew Thigpen used to fly around, live out of hotels, and dance a lot. Now he’s married, has two kids (wants more!), and lives in a house he actually owns. One thing hasn’t changed – he still likes to talk. A lot. Especially when it’s into a microphone.

Live Music

Smashup Swing Band

Get the weekend started on the right foot with Des Moines’ favorite local lindy hop band. Comprised of passionate musicians and dancers, this band was formed by lindy hoppers for lindy hoppers. They will welcome you with their swingin’ tunes at the Heartland welcome dance on Thursday night.

NOLA Jazz Band

The NOLA Jazz Band began playing their ongoing monthly gig at The Basement of The Des Moines Social Club March, 2015. Individual band members have played for years at local venues, various big bands, cruise ships, lead their own bands, opened for and played with many famous groups and players, and played various venues across the US and Europe. Nola Band personnel have also been inducted into the Iowa Jazz, Blues, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The band plays their own version of Traditional Jazz Standards, current new music coming out of New Orleans, and their own treatment of current songs and standards in the New Orleans Traditional style of playing.

Robert Bell & The Hot Swing Combo

We welcome The Hot Swing Combo back to Heartland Swing Festival in 2017. This amazing group has played for every single Heartland Swing Festival and has delighted audiences all over the Midwest. They have played for Midwest Lindyfest, Hawkeye Swing Festival, Cowtown Jamborama, SwingIN, and many more.

Foxtrot Hot Shots

The FOXTROT HOT SHOTS is a combo made up of central Iowa’s finest performers of 1920s-era jazz and popular music. Since 2005, the band has been performing its mix of foxtrots, Hot Jazz, show tunes, and novelty tunes – all performed with the infectious, two-beat bounce of the ‘Roaring 20s. Throughout Iowa, the Foxtrot Hot Shots have performed at jazz festivals, at jazz clubs and casinos, on concert series, at gala events, and for countless parties and receptions. Upcoming performances for the summer of 2017 will include Des Moines’ Jazz in July series and the Lakeside Dixiefest in Clear Lake, Iowa. And the band is delighted to be making its debut at the Heartland Swing Festival, since playing for dancers is always a special treat for musicians.


Kelley Sparks

David Frutos

Josh McLean

Shelby Johnson

Gary Grimm