The CHORALE of Champaign-Urbana began in 1982 as a small ensemble of singers providing music for the holidays in Mahomet. The group is now seventy-something strong, singing three concerts annually under the direction of Julie Beyler—including every New Year’s Eve. I’ll welcome Julie and featured pianist Michael Hammer to the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about Saturday’s gig in Decatur by the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project.
Live and Local
In a past life, Keith Harden was a widely traveled blues-folk-Americana-etc. guitarist-singer—as he puts it himself. Long a fixture in the Champaign-Urbana area, he now lives in Nashville but treks back to C-U every Christmas for a round of local gigs. Keith and his vocalist sister Kathy Harden will play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll hear about the 2nd annual Christmas variety show at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.
Ken Bello comes from a line of Russian ballet dancers and has partnered principal ballerinas from prominent companies around the world--among them his wife, Michelle Holmes-Bello. Together they founded USA Ballet, based in Bloomington-Normal, whose Youth Ensemble will present The Nutcracker Saturday afternoon. I'll talk with Ken Bello on the Wednesday edition of "Live and Local."
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.
The Station Theatre in Urbana will celebrate 40 years of creating innovate theater this summer, beginning with a musical called The Game of Love. The show adapts five one-act plays by Arthur Schnitzler, with music by Jacques Offenbach and Nancy Ford. Director Stephen Fiol and several of his actors will give us a live preview on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Every year over Memorial Day weekend for 38 years, the city of Peoria has played host to the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival, with sing-alongs, workshops and of course the contest itself. On the Thursday edition of “Live and Local,” we’ll hear five past and present contestants play for us live, from the Blind Pig in Champaign.
This week we’re covering the Third Annual Jazz Festival at the Iron Post in downtown Urbana, the most active venue for jazz in our communities. Nearly the entire University of Illinois jazz faculty will play at the festival Saturday night, and they’ll join us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Jazz pianist John Campbell grew up in Bloomington-Normal, hung out in Champaign-Urbana and has played with the likes of Clark Terry, Mel Tormé, Buddy DeFranco, Stan Getz and James Moody. He’s returning to Urbana to play on the Iron Post Jazz Fest this weekend, and he’ll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll also talk with Mik Templeton, whose West Coast Blues will round out the festival.
Community Arts Resource, based in St. Joseph, has offered its carTunes summer band program since 2009 and will launch its new season next month. They’re looking for new members now, and we’ll hear details, with music planned for the season, on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also preview the new CD by the Millikin University Jazz Band before their performance Saturday in Decatur.
Community Arts Resource, based in St. Joseph, has offered its carTunes summer band program since 2009 and will launch its new season next month. They’re looking for new members now, and we’ll hear details, with music planned for the season, on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also preview the new CD by the Millikin University Jazz Band before their performance Saturday in Decatur