Summer is a terrific time for theater in our area, including musical theater from the Champaign Urbana Theatre Company and the Station Theatre in Urbana. CUTC will present West Side Story and the Station offers Hairspray. Both shows open Thursday night, and we'll have live previews on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local.
Live and Local
The Summer Piano Institute at the University of Illinois opens Wednesday with the first of four solo piano recitals. Rochelle Sennet will play a program of Beethoven sonatas and Russian pieces, and she'll join me on the Monday edition of "Live and Local." We'll also hear from jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, who plays the Canopy Club in Urbana on Tuesday.
The Iron Post's second annual jazz festival is underway, with a good variety of local bands and combos. On Saturday night, some of the most venerable names in jazz in the area combine as the sextet Champaign Connection for an evening show. Trombonist Morgan Powell, trumpeter Ray Sasaki and sax player Howie Smith will join me for a chat on the Friday edition of "Live and Local.
The Austin-based Hot Club of Cowtown calls itself "the most globe-trotting, hardest-swinging Western swing trio on the planet." They'll be playing in Bloomington and Urbana this weekend, and I'll chat with fiddler Elana James on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local." We'll also hear about the folk-pop band Cotton Jones, in Urbana Thursday night.
St. Joseph's Community Arts Resource started three years ago with a youth piano recital and now sponsors activities year-round. Their summer band and chorus are now taking registrations, and we'll hear details on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local." And, live in our studio, we'll have a mini-cabaret from Geoff Poor and Dave Thies, who will play in Urbana on Thursday.
The Little Theatre in Sullivan is a busy place this time of year, currently presenting the musical Cats and a children's show about bugs, and opening their Broadway Boot Camp on Tuesday. John Stephens will join us on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local" for a chat. And we'll hear about a double bill musical from ACT Theatre Company in rural Anchor.
The 2nd Annual Jazz Festival at the Iron Post in Urbana opens on Thursday with a performance by the C-U Hard Bop Collective, whose music is centered on the repertoire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The group features some of the veterans of the local jazz scene, and they'll play for us live on the Monday edition of "Live and Local.
Cellist Matt Haimovitz takes his multi-faceted artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses. He'll play with the Heartland Festival Orchestra this weekend in Peoria, and he'll be my guest on the Friday edition of "Live and Local." I'll also talk with "Certified Guitar Player" Tommy Emmanuel about his newest PBS special, airing this weekend on WILL-TV.
David Rothenberg is a clarinetist, composer and writer on the relationship between humanity and nature. His books include Why Birds Sing and Thousand Mile Song, on making music with whales. He will participate in an improvised performance in downtown Champaign Thursday night, and he'll join me on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local," when we'll also hear from members of the High Cotton bluegrass band.
After a one-year hiatus, Summer Studio Theater is back at the Krannert Center in Urbana, and the season opens Thursday with a musical called [title of show]. We'll have the actors with us live on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local." And we'll hear a preview of the season-opening concert by the Urbana Pops Orchestra, which happens this Sunday.