Live and Local
This week I’ve been presenting highlights from previous editions of “Live and Local,” with live performances in our studio by musicians from and visiting Champaign-Urbana. On the Friday edition of the show, we’ll hear a variety of musical styles from faculty members of Urbana’s Community Center for the Arts; and former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Andres Cardenes will join pianist Ian Hobson and horn player Bernhard Scully for music by Brahms.
On the Wednesday edition of the show, we’ll hear live performance highlights representing each of the last three years. The Urbana-based trio Mean Lids will join us with their special brand of music for contra dancing; the local Arcadia Chamber Players will play music by Bohuslav Martinu; and the duo from Atlanta, Georgia, called Montana Skies will offer a sort of classical fusion, for guitar and electric cello.
Champaign-Urbana plays host to a wealth of musicians of all stripes, and this week we’re presenting encore broadcasts of live performances from our show by musicians both from and visiting these twin cities. On the Tuesday edition, we’ll hear African music presented by the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, as well as singer-songwriter Violet Vonder Haar and her colleagues from Columbia, Missouri.
Illinois fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt has made himself a specialist in French Creole and Cajun language, culture and music. He has just released a new CD exploring the music of Midwestern French America, and is preparing to perform at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival between June 21st and July 1st. We’ll talk with him on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll preview the “Young at Heartland” Senior Acting Program Summer Showcase.
When you read Kent Conrad’s short bio, you may not learn that he has practiced law and translated Chinese for the Air Force. But his abiding love is music, especially musical theater, and he’s involved in two productions for Summer Studio Theatre at the University of Illinois. We’ll preview the show Gone Missing and Kent’s solo cabaret on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Stringtown Lane is a small historic road in Piatt County. It’s also the name of a trio of Monticello musicians who play an eclectic mix of country, folk, pop, Latin and German music—and anything else they like. They’re doing a show at Monticello’s Brown Bag Deli Friday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Peoria Bach Festival has been held annually in June since 2003, and this week they’ll present Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in two concerts, with various associated events. John Jost is co-director of the festival, and he’ll join me on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll also talk with singer-songwriter Wil Maring about her performances this weekend with guitarist Robert Bowlin.
Jesse Smith is a Baltimore-born fiddler living in Ireland who is sought after as a teacher and collaborator. Detroit-born flutist, whistle player and uilleann piper Sean Gavin lives in Chicago and plays with the bands Bua and NicGaviskey. Together they’ll appear on the Piper’s Hut series in Urbana Tuesday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Penguin Project originated in Peoria as a theater program for children with disabilities. The Bloomington-Normal branch of the Project will present Beauty & the Beast Jr. next weekend, and their lead actors will join us on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also have a live preview of the Summer Harp Class at the University of Illinois.
Of all the live performances we’ve had on our show so far, one of my favorites was a bluegrass band from Chicago called The Henhouse Prowlers, almost two years ago. Well, they’re back, playing in Urbana Friday night, and they’ll play for us live for the hour on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
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