Live and Local
Every once in a while, I get to talk with a true icon of some branch of music, and the Thursday edition of “Live and Local” will be one of those days. Paddy Moloney is founder and leader of the venerable traditional Irish band The Chieftains, who will play in Bloomington Sunday night. We’ll chat about their latest collaborative CD. And we’ll hear from pianist Andrew Tyson, a Young Concert Artists winner, who will play in Urbana on Sunday.
Cody Diekhoff—best known to area music lovers as Chicago Farmer—has a great admiration for fellow Midwesterner John Prine and considers himself a working-class folk musician to his core. He writes songs, he says, “for the kind of people that come to my shows. Everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way.” He’s got a couple of shows coming in our area, and he’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
My Fair Lady has been called “a masterpiece of musical comedy” and “the perfect musical.” It’s certainly one of my own favorites, with a smart story, intelligent lyrics, lively dance sequences and of course marvelous music. The University of Illinois Opera Program will present My Fair Lady this week in Urbana, and we’ll hear some of the most memorable songs sung for us live on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
French-born jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel built his reputation as a stylist in the mode of Django Reinhardt but has branched out to encompass many different types of music. He’ll play in Urbana Saturday night, and he’ll join me on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll also talk with the young Seattle-based cellist Joshua Roman, whose own roots as a rock musician inform his career choices today. He’ll play with the Illinois Symphony Friday and Saturday.
The Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival will host its third annual Indoor Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, with four local bluegrass groups, and space for jamming. On the Thursday edition of “Live and Local,” we’ll hear one of those groups, called Black Coffee Fridays, live in our studio. And I’ll talk with Aaron Humble, one of the tenors of the Minneapolis-based men’s vocal ensemble Cantus, who will perform in Jacksonville Saturday night.
Ann Hampton Callaway is a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist and champion of the Great American Songbook. Her sister Liz Callaway is an actress, singer and recording artist with extensive Broadway credits. Together they will perform in Urbana Wednesday through Friday, and Ann will join me for a live preview on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear about the 71st annual show by Bloomington’s Sound of Illinois barbershop chorus.
In addition to my role at this radio station, I’m privileged to conduct a local, eclectic chamber orchestra called The Prairie Ensemble. The winds, brass and percussion of the Ensemble will give a concert next Sunday that will also feature a new local choir called Prairie Voices. On the Monday edition of the show, I’ll preview some of the music and talk with Prairie Voices director Laurie Matheson.
Les Misérables is the world’s longest-running musical, seen by over sixty million people in forty-two countries. The show has played at student, community and professional theaters throughout the world, and it will open at The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan February 22. We’ll have a live preview on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about the 24th Vocal Jazz Festival at Millikin University, happening Saturday in Decatur.
Friday night in Urbana, the Krannert Center will present Paul Dresher Ensemble’s production of Schick Machine, which features percussion virtuoso Steven Schick exploring a stage full of huge, invented instruments. I’ll talk with Paul Dresher on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about “All Out A Cappella” at Unity High School, happening Saturday in Tolono.
Of Portland, Oregon’s Foghorn Stringband, one reviewer said, “All they have to do is play, and the power surges straight through your own chest.” Featuring Sammy Lind’s fiddle, Caleb Klauder’s mandolin, Reeb Willms’ guitar, Nadine Landry’s bass and all four on vocals, the band will make a return appearance in Urbana Wednesday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
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