Live and Local
The Illinois Summer Youth Music Program—or ISYM—is a comprehensive and intensive program of music instruction for student musicians held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It’s one of the most highly regarded such programs in the country. On the Friday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll welcome chamber ensembles from the various instrumental camps, playing live in our studio.
Betse Ellis is a classically trained violinist who has dedicated the last twenty years of her life to learning, performing and teaching old-time fiddle styles, especially those relating to her Ozark heritage. She has a new CD out, and she’s giving a solo show in Urbana Sunday night. We’ll chat on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And, live in our studio, we’ll hear the local bossa-nova-and-samba band Urbana Sound Cloud, who have a gig Friday night.
The Betse Ellis interview is an extended cut with segments not aired on the original broadcast.
Vishtèn is the name of a Canadian trio whose blend of traditional French songs and original instrumentals fuses Celtic and Acadian genres with a modern sensibility. They’ll play in Urbana Thursday night, and I’ll talk with one of their twin-sister members on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear from pianist Michael Hammer, who will give us a live preview of his recital of the music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk in Champaign Sunday.
Once a scarred wasteland ravaged by turn-of-the-century strip-mining, Kickapoo State Park now offers scenic spaces for lovers of nature, fishing, hiking, camping—and listening to good music at its Dockside Café. We’ll hear about the music series, with a live performance by the duo August Crow, on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also learn about a concert Sunday in Champaign to raise money for victims of childhood stroke.
The summer season at the Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan has begun, with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum running through the month, and Anything Goes up next. I’ll talk with Executive Director John Stephens on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” And the Midwest Institute of Opera will present a concert production of Verdi’s Aïda in Normal on Sunday. Soprano and co-artistic director Tracy Marie Koch will give us a live preview.
Flatpicking guitarist and singer Eric Lambert was raised on the south side of Chicago and crafted his particular style of roots music by blending bluegrass with the sounds of B. B. King, Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia. He’ll bring his trio to Donnie’s Homespun Pizza in Decatur Friday night, and he’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also feature a performance by fiddling students from the Illinois Summer Youth Music camp.
The Central Illinois Stage Company in Charleston will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing, featuring many of the duo’s most beloved songs. It happens next week, and we’ll have a live preview on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll also talk with Robert Rumbelow, Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, about the summer band season, which opens with a concert Thursday night.
Danville's Arts in the Park celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and will be held on Saturday and Sunday in Lincoln Park. Many visual artists will participate, as will a large number of performing groups, including the Danville Symphony Orchestra. On the Wednesday edition of the show, I'll talk with the orchestra's music director, Jeremy Swerling, about their varied program, which will feature Alderman and retired Representative Bill Black narrating a musical rendition of "Casey at the Bat."
Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Davina and the Vagabonds claim as influences Fats Domino, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. While they bill themselves primarily as a blues band, their music can also sound a little bit New Orleans, a little bit Memphis and a little bit gospel. Davina and the Vagabonds will play shows in Champaign Tuesday and Wednesday, and they’ll play for us live on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
A website bio asks, what do Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Jay McShann, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dr. John, Roomful of Blues (and a bunch of other people) have in common, and answers: blues guitarist Duke Robillard. He’ll play in Champaign Saturday night, and I’ll chat with him on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll hear also from the St. Louis jazz pianist Carolbeth True, whose trio will play in Jacksonville Friday night.
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