Eileen Ivers was born in the Bronx of Irish immigrants and became a 10-time All-Ireland fiddle champion. She's won a Grammy, performed for presidents and played with Riverdance and The Chieftains. In short, she's considered one of the world's foremost Irish fiddlers. She'll play at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center in Decatur on Sunday, and she'll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local.
Live and Local
Carl Sandburg was not only a great poet, he also created an important work of ethnomusicology, The American Songbag. On the Monday edition of "Live and Local," I'll talk with participants in a program called "Prayers for the People: Carl Sandburg's Poetry & Songs" at the University of Illinois Monday night. And we'll hear a preview of the Red Note New Music Festival at Illinois State University.
The Steel Wheels are a four-piece Americana band based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Their music explores the territories between blues and bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin' fiddle tunes. The Steel Wheels will play at the Independent Media Center in Urbana Friday night, and they'll be with us live on the Friday edition of "Live and Local."
Pianist Roberto Plano, a finalist at the Twelfth Van Cliburn Competition, will make his second appearance with the Illinois Symphony this weekend, in a concerto by Johannes Brahms. He'll be my guest on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local." And I'll talk with Scott Ferguson, conductor of the Collegiate Choir at Illinois Wesleyan University, as they embark on their spring tour.
The Community Center for the Arts in Urbana will present a benefit concert of classical, popular and traditional chamber music on Sunday. Several faculty members will give us a live preview on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll hear a few scenes from the Rantoul Theatre Group's production of The Trouble with Cats, which opens on Friday.
On Friday, Springfield's Hoogland Center for the Arts will present a show called "Ella! Ella! Ella! A Musical Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald." One of the three splendid Chicago vocalists involved, Spider Saloff, will join me on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local." And I'll talk with Lisa Gaye Dixon, director of "A Midsummer Night's Dream: It's a Bacchanal" in Urbana this weekend.
On the Monday edition of the show, we'll spend an hour with the wonderful ragtime and stride pianist Paul Asaro. Paul currently tours with singer and guitarist Leon Redbone and lives in Champaign. We caught him live "on location" at the Blind Pig Co., playing his very own Steinway.
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Robert Johnson's influence on later blues musicians was vast, though his life was short. On the Friday edition of "Live and Local," I'll talk with Cedric Burnside, one of the featured artists in a program called Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts, at the Krannert Center on Tuesday. And I'll talk with violinist Georgia Hornbacker, who plays in Decatur on Sunday.
The Mark Morris Dance Group is at the Krannert Center in Urbana this week for its 11th season, with two performances and several engagement activities. Mr. Morris always works with live music-generally classical music. He'll join us on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local" to share and chat about some of this week's musical selections.
Singer-songwriter Keller Williams will bring his sometimes odd, always interesting brand of music making to the Canopy Club in Urbana on Thursday, and he'll be my guest on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll hear a couple of "Dinosaur Duets" from members of the Urbana Pops Orchestra in advance of Saturday's special event.