The Urbana Park District Youth Summer Theatre will present the award-winning Broadway classic The Music Man July 25th through the 28th. With a nostalgic score of rousing marches, barbershop quartets and sentimental ballads, the musical has become virtually an American institution. We’ll hear a live preview on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear Sylvia Liu’s Champaign Cello Choir in advance of their upcoming recital.
Live and Local
The Marriage of Figaro is a comic opera by Mozart, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais. It’s this year’s full production by the Midwest Institute of Opera in Normal, whose mission is to offer young artists the chance to perform complete operatic roles in their original language under the guidance of professional opera staff. Performances will take place July 28th and 30th, and we’ll have an advance live preview on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.”
Spuyten Duyvil—which literally means “spouting devil”—is the name of the creek that separates Manhattan from the Bronx. It’s also the name of a rockin’ roots band from the Hudson Valley who mash up the blues, old time, gospel, jug band music and more to create their unique sound. They’ll play in Champaign Friday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear live music from talented students at the Illinois Summer Youth Music program.
Frank Solivan is a hunter, fisherman, gourmet chef, singer, poet, songwriter—and a monster musician on mandolin, fiddle and guitar. He’s also leader of a four-piece band called Dirty Kitchen that plays what they call New Acoustic American Roots Music, focusing on bluegrass and acoustic country. They’re playing a show in Urbana Thursday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”
One might feel justifiably suspicious of how musical artists describe themselves. But it’s worth repeating some of the self-promotion from the Monticello-based bluegrass band High Cotton: “high-lonesome sound, full of foggy bottoms and smoky mountain tops”; and “songs and instrumental material to zestify your day.” High Cotton will play in Urbana Wednesday and in Bement on Sunday, and they’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
So someone points to your mountain dulcimer and says, “How long have you been playing that?” You look at your watch and answer, “About 45 minutes.” That joke digs at the relative ease with which one can learn to play the instrument known as the “hog fiddle,” but it hardly applies to North Carolina’s Don Pedi, who is something of a virtuoso. He’ll give a workshop and concert in Springfield next Monday, and I’ll talk with him on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Friday edition of the show will feature live performances by some quite divergent artists. First up, classical cellist Ka-Wai Yu and pianist Phoenix Park-Kim will preview their recital happening in Urbana Saturday afternoon. Then, completing our coverage of the inaugural AudioFeed Music Festival, I’ll welcome guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and national recording artist Michael Roe.
I try to bring you a wide variety of mainly acoustic music that represents what’s heard throughout our listening area. On the Wednesday edition, we’ll have two very different performers live in our studio: Clarke Buehling specializes in late-19th-century, classic finger-style banjo. He'll play in Champaign Wednesday night. And Lauryn Peacock writes songs that range from folky pop to raw rock. She'll play in Urbana this weekend.
The first AudioFeed Music Festival will take place this weekend at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana. Inspired by a former Christian music festival called Cornerstone, AudioFeed will feature Indie rock, blues, metal, pop, folk and other styles—including blues musician Sean Michel. We’ll hear more about the festival, with a live performance in our studio by Sean Michel, on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Lancaster, PA-born singer-songwriter Denison Witmer considers the first 15 years of his "underground" success the result of patience and happy accidents, as much as from choice and intention. He has a new self-titled album out, and he'll be among the many performers at the new Audiofeed Music Festival in Urbana this weekend. We'll also hear pianist Ian Gindes live in our studio. He'll perform with the Urbana Pops Orchestra Saturday night.