Jazz homecoming

Jazz lovers listen up, a taste of your music is coming to Marshalltown.

Conrad native and current Chicago resident Keri Johnsrud will be performing at the Tremont on Main on March 21. Johnsrud and her jazz band will perform two sets – one beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m.

“It’s always nice to come go back home to where I grew up,” Johnsrud said.

Johnsrud, 36, has been a professional jazz singer for 10 years but still feels like she’s in the young stages of her career.

“The nice thing about jazz is in that world I’m a baby,” she said.

Johnsrud grew up in Conrad in a musical family and gravitated towards jazz after being influenced by a Billie Holiday cassette tape. She is a 1995 BCLUW High School graduate who moved on to get a degree from the University of Iowa.

Her vocal stylings often get compared to Norah Jones. Johnsrud said her shows are similar to the star’s in their laid-back, mellow approach to jazz. Several of the clubs in the country’s biggest cities welcome her with open arms including spots in Atlanta, Chicago and New York City.

She has performed at the Tremont before, most recently during last summer’s RAGBRAI.

“I think it’s a really good place for the kind of music I do,” Johnsrud said. “It’s just a good atmosphere.”

One of the newer aspects of her career is writing her own music. If she can make her own music popular and hit the international circuit it would accomplish two dreams at once.

“To be able to play my own music all over the world would be amazing,” she said.

Those attending her show on March 21 will be able to experience classic jazz with some modern works and possibly one or two of her original songs.

“It’s a good variety,” she said.

Her accompanying musicians in Marshalltown will include a pianist and an upright bass player. She released a CD, “All Blue” in 2009 and samples of her music are available on her website, www.kerijohnsrud.com.

The event is sponsored by the Tremont and NuCara Pharmacy and also features a 6:30 p.m. dinner buffet with a rib carving station, salmon, stuffed chicken breast and other dishes.

Pamela Wong, director of the NuCara location in the McFarland Clinic in Marshalltown, said this event was a way to get the word out about NuCara, which opened last year.

“We just wanted to put something together because we are new to the community and wanted a night to have fun,” Wong said.

Wong said 50 percent of the proceeds from the night will go to the Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center Foundation.

“We wanted it to go to a good cause,” Wong said.

Tickets are $22 and include the buffet and performance and are expected to be available at the door. To make reservations or for more information call Wong at 641-752-4007.