11 years strong


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The Yacht Club may only be in its 11th year of existence, but it has become a staple in Iowa City's celebrated downtown. Not only has the pub expanded with an upstairs bar, it is now open all day serving food. Scott Kading, the bar's owner and talent buyer, said the future of the club is "looking bright."

"Everything is going to be really good and very fast," he said. "We will finally have a street presence with a nice little place to grab a beer."

The venue, 13 S. Linn St., will celebrate its changes with an 11th-Anniversary Party at 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10.

Numerous bands will headline the occasion, including top-tier local talent. One of the bands will be Paa Kow's By All Means Band. Its leader, Kow, grew up in Ghana, then made his presence known in America at a young age. He plays numerous instruments, and he fell in love with the drums after watching his family create music.

"My uncle has a band in my village," he said. "I saw them playing, and I wished to be a part of that, so I rode that wave."

Playing drums isn't always easy, he said, but that makes it rewarding.

"To me, there is a lot to think about, and the left and right hands are doing different things," Kow said. "It's a challenge, and you can make a lot of things from that."

The band members love to play a lot of jazz and funk with a heavy West African influence. The genre is unique, and Kow said he's wants to bring it to the American mainstream.

"I'm trying to do something that's not done in America a lot," he said. "That's what I want to bring out and have everybody say, 'Wow' — that's my goal."

The musician's music is becoming so popular that he named his next album Ask after his fans' interest in the music.

"People always asked me when the new album was coming," Kow said.  "So [I] called it Ask."

FireSale, a band from Iowa, will join him on stage. Band percussionist Joe Verstraete loves to have a good time during live shows.

"We like to get people dancing a lot and move to the music," he said.

In years past, Yacht Club has had as many as 10 headliners at its anniversary parties. However, this year will feature fewer bands but longer sets.

Kading said that while the party will still be great, it will be less chaotic.

"The anniversary party is truly an important event for us, and it's a great way for us to kick off the year," he said. "It is always the first weekend after school starts, so everyone is back in town and ready to party."

Yacht Club 11th Anniversary Party
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn
Admission: $10

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