May 06, 2014

Adrian Barnett Septet Releases New CD

I’m not terribly knowledgeable about jazz—as astute listeners to the show will have noticed—but I suspect it’s uncommon for a performer of the baritone saxophone—that nearly lowest of the sax family—to front his own band.  Adrian Barnett does, and he brought together colleagues at the University of Illinois for a septet and a new CD, with a release party in Urbana Thursday. They’ll play for us live on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”

May 05, 2014

Decatur’s Opus 24 Choir and the Bloomington Normal Youth Symphony

The Decatur community choir called OPUS 24 will give its spring concert on May 13, under the direction of Milton Scott. The program will feature music about America by both American composers and composers from elsewhere. I’ll talk with Milt Scott on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear from conductor Deanne Bryant about next Sunday’s concert by the Bloomington Normal Youth Symphony.

May 02, 2014

Springfield Choral Society Honors Longtime Director and Justin Roberts Plays Allerton

Marion van der Loo is completing her 20th season as music director of the Springfield Choral Society. To celebrate, the Society commissioned three choral pieces, each based on one of her own poems, to be premiered at their concerts this weekend. I’ll talk with Marion on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And I’ll visit with Chicago’s Justin Roberts, who will bring his Not Ready for Naptime Players to Allerton Park in Monticello for family concerts on Sunday.

May 01, 2014

The BR Quartet with Elis Artz Plays “Live & Local”

Choro, samba and bossa nova are no doubt the three most popular of the many forms of popular and folkloric music from Brazil known the world over. The locally based BR Quartet with Elis Artz—also called The Elis Quartet or, simply, Elis—plays an eclectic mix of songs from traditional dance forms to modern Brazilian pop music. Together only one year, they’ll play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 30, 2014

A New Musical Revue and Singer Lauren Turk in Urbana

Illini Student Musicals has produced four large-scale shows and several smaller ones in its brief history at the University of Illinois. On Thursday and Friday, they’ll present their first original production, called In Progress: A Broadway Revue, featuring songs from very recent musicals. We’ll have a live preview on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” Also live in our studio:  singer-songwriter Lauren Turk, who will play in Urbana Thursday evening.

April 29, 2014

“Singin’ in the Rain” in Champaign and “The Taming of the Shrew” in Charleston

The 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain is generally considered to be one of the finest film musicals ever made, and even one of the finest films ever made. Its 1983 stage adaptation will be produced by the students at Champaign’s Judah Christian High School this weekend, and we’ll have a live preview on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also welcome actors from Charleston Alley Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew.

April 25, 2014

A Jazz Film Fantasy in Champaign and a New Musical in Urbana

April 30 is International Jazz Day, and on Tuesday, the Art Theater in Champaign will celebrate a day early by hosting a “Jazz Film Fantasy,” with three short films featuring Duke Ellington and the great blues singer Bessie Smith. We’ll hear details on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll meet Joseph Turrin, composer of a new “chamber musical” called Love Games, which will have its premiere Tuesday and Wednesday in Urbana. NOTE: The sound archive for today's entry contains additional portions of my interview with Love Games composer Joseph Turrin which did not air on the live broadcast, having to do mostly with his musical background. Enjoy the extra "footage"!

April 25, 2014

California’s Dustbowl Revival Plays Champaign

I don’t rely too heavily on marketing copy for music groups, but here’s some for you: “Imagine Old Crow Medicine Show teaming up with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, or Bob Dylan and The Band jamming with Benny Goodman and his orchestra in 1938.” We’re talking about the California-based collective called The Dustbowl Revival. They’re coming to Champaign Friday night, and they’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”

April 24, 2014

Deena Shoshkes in Champaign and “The Sleeping Beauty” from Champaign Urbana Ballet

Deena Shoshkes and her husband Jon Fried were the founding members of the 1980s New Jersey band The Cucumbers and now perform frequently as an acoustic duo. They’re coming to Champaign Thursday in support of Deena’s new Rock River CD, and they’ll play for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear about the upcoming performances of The Sleeping Beauty from Champaign Urbana Ballet.

April 23, 2014

Peter, Paul & Mary Tribute Band in Charleston, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony

I always loved the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Their rendition of “Puff the Magic Dragon” still makes me cry. Now there’s a modern-day folk trio from New York City inspired by PP&M—A Band Called Honalee. They’ll play during Charleston’s annual arts festival this weekend, and I’ll talk with two of their number on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear from conductor Stephen Alltop about Friday’s concert by the Champaign-Urbana Symphony.

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