The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) in partnership with The Friends of MLK is thrilled to announce a special Pop-Up Performance featuring Tommy Mesa, the QCSO guest artist for the first Masterworks Concert of the season, and two QCSO violinists, Janis Sakai, and Emily Nash. This exciting musical event will occur on Friday, October 6 at 12:00 PM at the brand-new MLK Park at 501 Brady Street in Davenport, IA.

Tommy Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, will perform musical selections in the park’s beautiful outdoor setting on the day before QCSO’s opening Masterworks concert, From Conflict to Courage. Mesa will be in residence for two weekends this fall including a concert with fellow musician Greg Zelek, Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 PM at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, IA. Mesa will return to the Quad Cities for the Masterworks concert to perform works by Jessie Montgomery and Andrea Casarrubios on Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 PM at the Adler Theatre in Davenport and Sunday, October 8 at 2:00 PM at Centennial Hall in Rock Island.

“We are excited to bring this free lunchtime performance to MLK Park, a meaningful and exciting new addition in the heart of downtown Davenport,” said Brian Baxter, Executive Director at QCSO. “This Pop-Up Performance serves as a testament to our commitment to providing engaging musical experiences that directly connect to our QC community.”

“I am honored to serve as Founder and Board Chair of the Friends of MLK, Inc. And seeing our cornerstone project come into fruition,” said Ryan Saddler. “I’m excited to be working with partners like the QCSO and am looking forward to opening the park for this Pop-Up Performance.”

The new park is located in downtown Davenport at the corner of 5th and Brady in an area that at one time was a vibrant mixed-race restaurant, entertainment, and house district.  This neighborhood was frequented by African-Americans traveling via the Chicago-Pacific railroad and was home to what is believed to be Davenport’s first Black Business owner. In fact, Dr. King’s only visit to Davenport (1965) was to receive the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom award, just two blocks away from this site. The park aims to tell the stories and contributions of the black community in Quad Cities history. While in the park, guests can celebrate unity, diversity, and the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.

Event Details

Date: Friday, October 6
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Brady Street, Davenport, IA

This Pop-Up Performance is free, and all members of the community are encouraged to join us to celebrate the new park and the first QCSO Masterworks of the season. Please bring your own seating and consider arriving early to secure a good spot.

For more information about this event and other upcoming QCSO performances, please visit

About the Quad City Symphony Orchestra

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra, based in Davenport, IA, is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the Quad Cities region by performing high-quality, live symphonic music that engages and entertains audiences. With a rich history dating back over a century, the QCSO continues to be a pillar of the arts in the community, showcasing world-class talent and fostering a love for classical music.

About the Friends of MLK

The Friends of MLK began as a task force initiated by Pastor Rogers Kirk and former Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. The mission was to recommend a way for the City of Davenport and its citizens to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King. It was the recommendation of the task force to the City to use a lot on 5th St. between Brady and Perry streets for the development of Davenport, Iowa’s Martin Luther King Memorial Park. The mission of the Friends of MLK is to empower and encourage the Quad City area to practice the civil and human rights for all races, colors, and creeds as exemplified by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


Funding for the QCSO website provided by the Scott County Regional Authority