Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer

Save the date for a special President’s Day weekend visit to C-U by klezmer luminaries Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer! Of particular interest to the C-U Folk and Roots Festival community are three events:

– Thursday, February 16, 7:00pm, Music Building Auditorium, Room 1030, 1114 W. Nevada St., Urbana: “Klezmer Music: From Old World to New: Lecture and Musical Demonstration.” Free and open to the public.
– Saturday, February 18, 7:00pm, Sinai Temple, 3104 W. Windsor Rd, Champaign: Klezmer Concert and Dance Party. Free and open to the public.
– Sunday, February 19, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Phillips Recreation Center, 505 W. Stoughton Ave, Urbana: Big Klezmer and Yiddish Music Jam and Workshop. All levels and backgrounds welcome. Free and open to the public; free will donations greatly appreciated.

For further information about Jeff and Deborah’s activities in Champaign-Urbana, point your browser to

For over 25 years, Deborah Strauss (violin, accordion, voice, dance) and Cantor Jeff Warschauer (voice, guitar, mandolin) have been at the forefront of the international klezmer and Yiddish music scene. They were both long-time members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, one of the premiere groups of the klezmer revival, and have performed with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman on film and in concert. They serve on the faculty of KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, the Warsaw International Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture, and KlezFest at the University of London.

As the Strauss/Warschauer Duo, Deborah and Jeff have performed to overwhelming acclaim in such diverse venues as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Great Britain’s Fiddles on Fire, the Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow, Poland, and the Art of Yiddish in Los Angeles with the late actor and singer Theodore Bikel. They are Yiddish speakers, and have researched and collected Yiddish and Hebrew songs and instrumental melodies since the 1980s. Together they lead some of the most popular klezmer music, Yiddish song, and traditional dance workshops throughout North America, and Eastern and Western Europe.

This weekend of events is generously underwritten by Sinai Temple and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Endowment Foundation, with co-sponsorship support from the Program in Jewish Culture and Society and the Russian and East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thanks also to the C-U Folk and Roots Festival and the Community Center for the Arts for helping spread the word!

Folk and Roots Winter Weekend

The C-U Folk and Roots Festival is proud to be cosponsoring the inaugural Folk and Roots Winter Weekend, Friday, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th, at the Iron Post, 120 S. Race St., Urbana, IL!

Friday night will feature Urbana local and Americana oddballs Bones Jugs, and, returning from Nashville, TN, Woody Pines, and their oh-so-tasty brand of down home folk and swing.

Saturday night will be a trio of bands. Kicking off the evening will be The Matchsellers from Kansas City, Kansas, then Urbana locals Hobnob String Band, followed by one of the best bluegrass bands around, Chicago’s own, Henhouse Prowlers.

This is a weekend of music you do not want to miss!
2-day passes are $20 (plus service charge) or Friday is $10 at the door, and Saturday is $20 ($10/show) at the door. Don’t be a goof, save that $10 bucks! Tix available here–>

Friday, February 10th ($10)
8pm: Bones Jugs
9pm: Woody Pines

Saturday, February 11th
*early show – $10*
6pm: The Matchsellers
7pm: Hobnob String Band
*late show – $10*
9pm: Henhouse Prowlers

Ricky Skaggs concert

Ricky SkaggsWin TWO FREE TICKETS to the Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder concert at the Virginia Theatre on Saturday, January 28th! Just leave a comment on our Facebook post by January 22nd. We’ll draw a name and announce the lucky winner on January 23rd!

A life full of music—that’s the story of Ricky Skaggs. By age twenty-one, he was already considered a recognized master of one of America’s most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music. His path’s taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact. Along the way, Skaggs has played with everyone from Bill Monroe (when Ricky was a musical prodigy of six) and Flatt and Scruggs, to Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby, Vince Gill, and countless others.

RICKY SKAGGS and Kentucky Thunder
Date/Time: Sat, January 28, 2017 – 7:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Seating: Reserved Seating

Tickets: $69.50 VIP/$46.50/$38.50/$29.50
Add’l per ticket processing fees apply: $4 (online only)
More info:

Festival Pre-Party at the Canopy

Horseshoes and WanderersThere’s no doubt you will find yourself revved up for the festival after our Thursday night kickoff at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with Hubby Jenkins and the Hobnob String Band. So trot on over to the Canopy for a festival pre-party featuring two great bands: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and 2015 festival veterans, The Way Down Wanderers. Doors open at 8:00pm, concert starts at 9:00pm. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Thanks to the Canopy for joining in on the fun with us!

New Orleans Jazz Machine

New Orleans Jazz MachineTogether for over 20 years, the New Orleans Jazz Machine is a traditional jazz band that plays Dixieland and swing favorites. The lineup generally features the following musicians: Carl Johnson, clarinet/soprano sax; Brighten Godfrey, trumpet; Barry Wagner, trombone; Ernie Hoffman, piano; Josh Houchin, bass; Gary Peyton, drums. Occasionally other outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists are featured. The band has played in the Champaign-Urbana area at locations such as the Blind Pig, High Dive, Cowboy Monkey, the Embassy, University of Illinois events, church services, wedding receptions, picnics, parties, and at many other private and community events.


John Lindell and Matt Stewart

John Lindell and Matt StewartJohn Lindell is a singer songwriter from Champaign, Illinois whose material ranges from folk songs about central Illinois to blues songs about his beloved New Orleans. His songs tell stories about such diverse subjects as loss of manufacturing jobs, the Great American Dream, homelessness, and tales of Cajun werewolves — Rougarou. 

Matt Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist from Champaign who plays all styles of music from folk and jazz to rock and blues, and is one of the finest slide guitarists around. Matt has played in nationally and internationally acclaimed bands such as Starcastle and Head East.

Volunteers needed!

Greetings fans of folk and roots music! The detailed volunteer signup for the Folk and Roots Festival, Nov. 3-5, 2016, is ready for you. We are looking for Coordinators, Crew, and Green Room donations. Four (4) hours of volunteer work will get you a wristband and a T-shirt, and a chance to work with awesome fellow-supporters.

There will be a Coordinator organization meeting at 5 pm on 10/16 at Techline, and a Coordinator & Crew organization meeting at 5 pm on 10/23 at Techline in Champaign.

Select your slot by clicking on the SignUp button below:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

Thanks so much for your support!