Live and Local
The Tuesday edition of “Live and Local” will represent some of the great variety of music that can be heard throughout our region. I’ll talk with conductor Richard Rossi about choral and orchestral concerts at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. We’ll meet Kristin Stewart, who plays Mrs. Potts in a production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in Bloomington. And mandolin master Mike Compton will chat ahead of his gigs in Bloomington and Urbana.
Austin, Texas-born Charles Yang says he was force-fed the violin by his parents and rebelled early on, taking up the guitar to sing and play in a rock band. Now studying at the renowned Juilliard School, he plays at celebrated venues, often in crossover and improvisational collaborations. He’ll play Tchaikovsky and the premiere of a rock-tinged concerto with the Peoria Symphony on Saturday, and he’ll be my guest on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.”
Erik Lund is a long-time professor of composition at the University of Illinois. He’s also an active trombonist playing in two groups with upcoming performances in Champaign-Urbana: the Jazz Friends Quintet, and compostQ, a multi-dimensional music-and-dance collective. I’ll talk with Erik on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about the Illinois Symphony’s season-opening concerts from music director Alastair Willis.
Composer Adolphus Hailstork has written an opera about the Underground Railroad, a cantata on texts by Walt Whitman, organ music based on Gregorian chant and inspired works for all types of musical ensemble. He’ll be present for a concert of his music in Urbana Thursday night, and he’ll be my guest on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear a live preview of the play White People, currently at Urbana’s Station Theatre.
Bloomington-Normal-based singer-songwriter Dan Hubbard has released six albums, both solo and with his band The Humadors. His latest solo project, just out, is called “Livin’ in the Heartland.” Dan will have CD release shows in Champaign and Springfield this week, and he’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” And I’ll talk with Michael Spiro of Ritmos Unidos, a Latin jazz-and-pop band who will play in Charleston Thursday night.
On the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll be pleased to welcome two performers who grew up in Champaign-Urbana, watched each other in community theater and occasionally played together here and there. Singer, songwriter and music therapist Lynn O’Brien now lives in Minneapolis, while performer and actor Nick Demeris moved to New York City. They’ll play together in Urbana Tuesday night, and they’ll give us a live preview in the studio.
Robert Chen is concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who will play in Urbana Saturday night. We'll talk about his role with the orchestra and about the piece he'll play: the Violin Concerto by Paul Hindemith. And I'll visit with Streator-born mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh, a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University. She'll return to Bloomington to present a one-woman show for Prairie Fire Theatre, called "It just takes one"--a comical take on dating for people of all ages.
There’s a group in Champaign-Urbana called the Almost “A” Quintet, and I’ve never been able to get a straight answer about what their name means. But since they have backgrounds in jazz, classical and contemporary art music and play folk, gypsy, Latin, tango, klezmer and various other styles, I’m going with “Almost Anything.” The quintet has various gigs coming up, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
MU is a Zen concept, a legendary lost continent—and a theatrical creation inspired by both, for dancers and musicians. With striking costumes and music from an array of Western and traditional Japanese instruments, the show comes to Urbana on Friday, and we’ll meet its creators on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll also talk with Stephen Alltop, the new conductor of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, ahead of his inaugural concert.
Bones, Jugs and Harmony is the name of an Urbana-Champaign band who say they started with the idea of throwing a high-energy party with acoustic instruments. And those instruments can include xylophone, jugs, kazoos, banjo, bass, something called an udderbot—and, of course, bones. They’re playing in Pekin and Urbana this weekend, and they’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
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