Live and Local
His guitar sounds like a ukulele, his voice like a transgendered punk Bessie Smith, and his style suggests a hobo Pee-Wee Herman." That's what someone wrote about Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, a roots band from St. Louis. They'll play at the Castle Theatre in Bloomington Friday night, and they'll play for us live in our studio on the Friday edition of "Live and Local.
Studebaker John Grimaldi grew up in an Italian-American part of Chicago, and he's been playing the blues since grade school. He and his band The Hawks will play the Castle Theatre in Bloomington on Saturday, and he'll join me on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll have a preview by members of Urbana's Arcadia Chamber Players of their spring concert this weekend.
The Champaign-Urbana Folk & Roots Festival doesn't happen until November, but this Saturday you can attend an intimate house concert to benefit the Festival, with four singer-guitarists. We'll have a live preview on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local." And I'll talk with Mary Miller of Garfield Montessori School in Decatur about their production of the musical Annie Jr.
Chicago Farmer has been called "a working man's singer-songwriter," with a commanding, passionate voice. He'll play at the Canopy Club in Urbana on Thursday, and he'll give us a preview on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local." We also hear about Titanic: The Musical, the current production by Community Players Theatre in Bloomington.
On today's show, I talk with Tricia Stiller, director of a stage production of The Diary of Anne Frank, being put on Tuesday and Wednesday in Bloomington by students involved in the McLean County Diversity Project. And I chat with Paul McKenna of the Paul McKenna Band, a young group of traditional Scottish musicians who play on the Piper's Hut Concert Series in Urbana on Tuesday.
This weekend's concerts by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra will be Karen Lynne Deal's last as music director, and the music on the program holds special significance for her. We'll talk and hear examples on the Friday edition of "Live and Local." And I'll visit with Angi Chase of the handbell ensemble Bells in Motion, who will perform twice this weekend.
The Sleeping Beauty is probably Tchaikovsky's finest ballet, and the Champaign Urbana Ballet has prepared an over-the-top production, premiering this weekend at the Virginia Theater in Champaign. I'll talk with artistic director Deanna Doty and production designer Andy Warfel on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll hear about Sunday's concert by two Millikin University bands.
Imagine a marching band with a generous helping of Moulin Rouge, a splatter of Pirates of the Caribbean and a dash of Rocky Horror." That's one person's description of the MarchFourth Marching Band, who will play in Bloomington Thursday night. I'll talk with band leader John Averill, and with Milt Scott of the Decatur choral group Opus 24, on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local.
Irish-American singer-songwriter Sarah McQuaid interprets traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads and 1930s jazz numbers, in addition to her own elegantly crafted originals. She'll perform in Urbana Tuesday night, and she'll play for us live on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll hear a preview of Champaign Central High School's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The CHORALE, under the direction of Julie Beyler, will give its annual Young Artist Scholarship Concert in Champaign next Saturday. On the Monday edition of "Live and Local," I'll be pleased to welcome Ms. Beyler, four of this year's young artists and Mr. Willie Summerville, who was critical to the inauguration of the young artist program. NOTE: The second audio clip below contains a performance by The CHORALE that was not included in the aired segment, with discussion by Ms. Beyler and Mr. Summerville. Enjoy!
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