Jessica Hopper sitting on an outdoor staircase
Photo provided by Featherproof Books
September 24, 2015

Music Critic Hopes Conversation Leads To Change

Music critic Jessica Hopper recently started a social media conversation about how women and other marginalized groups have been discouraged in their pursuits in the music industry.  Hopper will be in Champaign-Urbana for this weekend's Pygmalion Festival.  She spoke with Illinois Public Media's Brian Moline about how that conversation started, and where she hopes it could lead.


The Punch Brothers (Left to Right: Paul Kowert, Noam Pickelny, Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, and Gabe Witcher)
Courtecy of The Punch Brothers
September 12, 2015

Punch Brothers On Their Sound, Solo Careers And Returning To Champaign-Urbana

The Punch Brothers are an acoustic band with a sound that defies most descriptors. They're playing this weekend as part of the Ellnora Guitar Festival, and two members of the group, Chris Thile and Noam Pikelny, spoke with Illinois Public Media about how they describe their sound, solo projects, taking over for Garrison Keillor (in Thile's case) and, in Pikelny’s case, coming back to play after graduating from the University of Illinois. 


Author Michael Perry
Courtesy of Michael Perry
April 10, 2015

The Pull Of The Farm Inspires Wisconsin Writer

Michael Perry is a New York Times Bestselling author, known for his memoirs of growing up in and returning to rural Wisconsin. He is also a humorist, singer/songwriter, radio host, and intermittent pig farmer. Even with all of that he is visiting Champaign-Urbana Saturday as the keynote speaker for the Champaign Library’s Local Author Festival. 


President Barack Obama receives His Excellency Andris Razans Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia, during an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office
Wikipedia Commons; White House Image/Chuck Kennedy
March 20, 2015

Latvian Ambassador Bullish On EU; Not Worried About Russia, Greece

Ambassador Andris Razāns has served as the Latvian ambassador to the United States and Mexico since July of 2012 and 2013 respectively. He spoke with Illinois Public Media about the challenges facing the European Union, particularly Greece’s debt problems and Russian aggression and about how Latvia gained its independence through song. 


The 2010 Rainbo Orchestra cover.
(Photo: Archeophone Records )
February 09, 2015

Champaign-Based Archeophone Fails Again In Bid For Second Grammy Win

The record label that specializes in reviving archival recordings from 100 years ago or more was up for two Grammys for “Isham Jones:  Happy" a collection of early jazz recordings, or ‘dance band’ songs from the 1920’s. 


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