Embracing the art of the past as well as the art of our time," the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois believes "that the arts hold uniquely transformative potential." The Center's just-announced 2011-2012 season bears out that portion of its mission statement, and director Mike Ross will join me with highlights on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local.
Live and Local
Bloomington's Castle Theater opened in 1916, a jewel in the series of gems created by the legendary theater builders Balaban & Katz. The Castle has been restored to its former glory and presents a diverse mix of live music. Their Local Showcase on Thursday will include the Eva Hunter Band, and Eva will join us solo on the Monday edition of "Live and Local.
Illinois Summer Youth Music, or ISYM, is an intensive program of instruction for junior and senior high school musicians that takes place each year in three one-week sessions at the University of Illinois. On the Friday edition of "Live and Local," we'll feature ensembles from the senior high band and orchestra camps and the musical theatre camp, live in our studio.
Original musicals typically appear in New York or Chicago or other big theater cities. But next week, Champaign's Virginia Theater will host the world premiere of a locally written new musical called 1787, which tells the tale of the writing of the United States Constitution. We'll hear a preview on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local.
The Urbana Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival happens this weekend, complete with harmonica clinics, kazoo jams, a drum circle, an instrument petting zoo and wall-to-wall music-figuratively speaking-on several outdoor stages. Among the many performers will be singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Caleb Cook, who will join us live in the studio on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local.
Fathom Events offers a wide array of exclusive, limited-run entertainment events to local movie theaters around the country, including Shakespeare from London's Globe Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera in High Definition and, Thursday, a one-night nationwide movie event called DUDAMEL: Let the Children Play. The film offers a glimpse into the world of orchestras, conducting, and the importance of music as a hopeful path to face the educational crisis worldwide, led by inspiring young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. On the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local," I'll talk with the executive producer of the film, and we'll hear about other Fathom events shown in our area.
Actor, comedian, author--and accomplished banjo player--Steve Martin will play at the Effingham Performance Center on Wednesday. He's bringing with him a wonderful young band called Steep Canyon Rangers, and on today's show, I'll talk with their guitarist and lead singer, Woody Platt, with plenty of tunes from their new CD with Steve Martin called Rare Bird Alert.
Bruiser and the Virtues, The Impalas, The Freak Brothers-these bands all have Bruce "Bruiser" Rummenie in common. He's a singer, guitarist, songwriter, band leader (and public school English teacher), and he'll join me on the Friday edition of "Live and Local" to talk about some upcoming gigs. We'll also hear from visiting pianist Boaz Sharon, who participates in the Summer Piano Institute at the University of Illinois this weekend.
Backyard Tire Fire is a three-man band based in Bloomington who create their own sound from equal parts rock 'n' roll, back alley blues and country melody. They'll play at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Saturday evening, and on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local," I'll be joined by Ed Anderson, their lead vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter, live in the studio.
There's a new choral group in town called Prairie Voices, and they'll give their inaugural concert on Sunday in Champaign. Founding conductor Laurie Matheson will join me on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local" with a preview. And we'll hear vocalist Elizabeth Simpson and guitarist George Turner, who play "Uncorked" at the Krannert Center on Thursday.