Ellnora: The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana has come to be recognized (in the words of Fretboard Journal) as "one of the world's most forward-thinking guitar festivals." This year's line-up at the biennial festival features artist-in-residence Cindy Cashdollar and a roster of talent that includes classical, jazz, blues, flamenco, Hindustani, gypsy, rock and gospel musicians--and many more. On the Friday edition of "Live and Local," I'll talk with Krannert Center's Tammey Kikta about the festival overall, and we'll sample recordings representing just a few of the many talented artists.
Live and Local
Croatia-born classical guitarist Ana Vidovic is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and a winner of multiple prizes and competitions. She'll play at the Ellnora Guitar Festival in Urbana next week, and I'll talk with her on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local." And, live in the studio, I'll welcome author William Gillespie and electric violinist Chandra Watkins, who will participate in a show called "Callings" in Champaign Sunday night.
In 1990, while still a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kristina Boerger decided to form what came to be called Amasong: Champaign-Urbana’s Lesbian/Feminist Chorus. Now, twenty-three years later, she returns to the University as its interim director of choral activities. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll talk with Kristina about her vision for the choral program and about the musical life that led her back to C-U.
As an Australian of Scottish and English heritage, guitarist and singer Fiona Boyes would seem to be an unlikely practitioner of that quintessential American art form knows as the blues. She has been recording and performing internationally for more than 25 years doing just that. She'll bring her trio to Urbana next week for Ellnora: The Guitar Festival, and she'll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local."
I count at least seventeen Celtic bands performing at Erin Feis Peoria this weekend, many of them playing more than once, plus numerous other musicians, dancers, storytellers and more. On the Friday edition of the show, I’ll talk with members of three of the featured bands: The Kells, based in Ohio, The Biffos, from Arizona, and Chicago Reel from—well, Chicago. And of course we’ll hear plenty of their music.
You needn't be afraid of the Rogue Army. That's the affectionate name given to the family of fans of the Baltimore-based American Rogues--whose sound-world, they say, resembles some combination of the 78th Fraser Pipe Band, the Chieftains, the Rolling Stones, the Dave Matthews Band and a symphony orchestra. The American Rogues will play at Erin Feis Peoria twice this weekend, and I'll talk with their lead singer, and multi-instrumentalist, Nelson Stewart on the Thursday edition of "Live and Local."
Erin Feis in Peoria began in 1981 as an eight-hour family event. It has since grown to fill three days with Celtic music, dancing, games and sports, and it’s coming this weekend. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll talk with Gary Innes of the band Mánran—one of a few Scottish groups playing at this mostly Irish festival. And we’ll hear about the gala presentation of the musical Gypsy at Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts.
Dan Perrino, a longtime University of Illinois music professor, saxophonist and founder of the Medicare 7, 8 or 9 Dixieland jazz band, died almost exactly a year ago at the age of 91. He was loved and respected by students and friends far and wide for his work as a teacher, musician, mentor and more. On Thursday night, WILL-TV will air a special program about Dan and the band, and I’ll talk with a few of those who knew him well on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Champaign/Urbana Singer-Songwriter Collective showcases its affiliated artists every week in Champaign, and at occasional specially themed programs throughout the year. Last May, they offered a tribute to Bob Dylan, which the Collective will re-present as part of a three-day singer-songwriter festival this weekend in Urbana. I’ll welcome five of those musicians—out of a field of thirty-some—to perform live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”
Under the name Reverend Robert, Bobby Reynolds of Charleston has delved deep into the styles of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and other delta blues giants. He has also explored many other early twentieth century styles, including ragtime and early jazz, Hawaiian, African and Caribbean. Reverend Robert will play in Urbana Wednesday night, and he’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”