The dance program at the University of Illinois will present its annual February Dance concerts Thursday through Saturday, with works by both faculty members and graduate students, with some set to live music. I’ll talk with two of the choreographers on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about the 38th Annual Central Illinois Jazz Festival, happening this weekend in Decatur.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a 2011 musical comedy about our seventh president, reinvented as an “emo” rock star. Largely a critical success, it’s being recreated by the Celebration Company at the Station Theatre in Urbana through Feb. 2.
Bloomington/Normal-based singer-songwriter Chris Corkery cut his musical teeth as frontman of the heartland rock group The Dirty Hands Band. He’s been playing solo at honky-tonks and barrooms around Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis for the last ten years. Chris will join me live on the Thursday edition of the show. And I’ll talk with conductor Alastair Willis about this weekend’s concerts by the Illinois Chamber Orchestra.
The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will continue its season Friday night with a concert called “Musical Travels.” It will be conducted by David Commanday, the second of the candidates to become Music Director of the orchestra. I’ll talk with Mr. Commanday on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear a live preview of a concert Saturday in Champaign featuring young vocalist Caitlin Caruso-Dobbs, who aspires to a career in musical theater.
This week I’ve been presenting highlights from previous editions of “Live and Local,” with live performances in our studio by musicians from and visiting Champaign-Urbana. On the Friday edition of the show, we’ll hear a variety of musical styles from faculty members of Urbana’s Community Center for the Arts; and former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Andres Cardenes will join pianist Ian Hobson and horn player Bernhard Scully for music by Brahms.
On the Wednesday edition of the show, we’ll hear live performance highlights representing each of the last three years. The Urbana-based trio Mean Lids will join us with their special brand of music for contra dancing; the local Arcadia Chamber Players will play music by Bohuslav Martinu; and the duo from Atlanta, Georgia, called Montana Skies will offer a sort of classical fusion, for guitar and electric cello.
Champaign-Urbana plays host to a wealth of musicians of all stripes, and this week we’re presenting encore broadcasts of live performances from our show by musicians both from and visiting these twin cities. On the Tuesday edition, we’ll hear African music presented by the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, as well as singer-songwriter Violet Vonder Haar and her colleagues from Columbia, Missouri.
Throughout 2012, the show has brought you some of the best performers our community has to offer, in a remarkable variety of acoustic music, theater and dance. And we’ve showcased many nationally touring artists who have played in our area. Sharing all this with you brings me great joy, and I’m looking forward to a music-filled 2013. While I take a break from the show for a while, please enjoy the classical music in the “Live and Local” time slot—and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!