Specializing in jazz music from early in the 20th century, the Church Street Ramblers perform songs by Louis Armstrong, Clarence Williams, Mamie Smith, Louis Jordan, Fats Waller, and a host of other legendary musical artists.
Catch Kathleen Everingham and José Agusti of Big Bluestem warming up the festival in the Busey Bank lobby on Friday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm!
Big Bluestem performs an eclectic mix of fiddle tunes, old-time string band music, bluegrass and historic tunes, with an occasional sprinkling of swing and the blues.
The Traditional Jazz Orchestra plays hot music from the early 20th century when jazz was young — the music of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and other popular composers from the period. The band features Tom Birkner (cornet), Randy Salman (clarinet), Morgan Powell (trombone), Mike Miller (banjo/guitar), Dan Anderson (tuba/bass)…with occasional help from Jeff Helgesen (cornet), Armand Beaudoin (bass) and others.
Originally from a small planet orbiting Messier Object 78 between Betelgeuse and Alnitak in the Orion Constellation and now found in Champaign, Illinois, Jiggy & the Source is not a person, nor an ensemble, nor a group… Rather it is a synergy of cosmic vibrations of unconditional love and five-dimensional light flowing through mere mortal Josh Spence, transmogrifying him into Jiggy with the intensity of a phantom train barreling through the walls of illusion and fear meant to control and limit humanity. When The Source is present, there is no choice but to see the light.
Paul Hinson taught himself bagpipe basics shortly after college and has been playing in pipe bands since 1982, often for competitions. He has studied with internationally known master pipers and participated in numerous solo piping competitions. Since 1996, he has been piping with the Mugdock Pipers, originally in Urbana and now in Champaign.
The Banks Bridgewater Lewis Fine Arts Academy consists of the BBL Fine Arts Academy and the Mo’ Betta Music performance bands. Well known around town, the premier ensemble plays for numerous civic functions and activities, and features instrumental and vocal renditions of jazz and popular music.
The Mo’ Betta Jazz Band’s appearance at the festival is made possible by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University Library, UIUC.
The Volo Bogtrotters are have been a Midwestern favorite since their first gig at the actual Volo Bog in Lake County, Illinois in 1985. Their music is inspired by the classic string band sounds that appeared on 1920s phonograph records, as well as by the square dance tunes played by the master country fiddlers they sought out in small Midwestern towns during the last decades of the 20th century. The band is fronted by fiddlers Lynn “Chirps” Smith, Fred Campeau and Paul Tyler (the latter two drag along a few other instruments) and also includes Steve Rosen on banjo, Jim Nelson on guitar, and Tony Scarimbolo on bass.
The Volo Bogtrotters’ appearance is generously sponsored in part by the Spurlock Museum.
Billy Strings and Don Julin play traditional American string band music with energy levels usually associated with extreme sports. A typical set includes haunting Appalachian songs, righteous gospel standards, and blazing bluegrass instrumentals. Honoring the musical traditions of Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and Jimmy Martin, their music is delivered with a pedal to the metal intensity of a moonshine runner.
As middle-age crisis vanity projects go, this takes the biscuit for sheer quixotic misguided willfulness. The Dysfunctionells, struggling mightily to play above their skill level, will challenge today’s youthful audience’s capacity for empathy as they parade their decades’ worth of well-earned neuroses with no glimmer of shame. Overshadowing the folk-grunge Whitmanesque yawp is the epic display of mental aberration, not to mention the collective misplaced and inappropriate narcissism that drives the project. So, hey, a must-see for students of mental pathology. However, all are welcome. Roll call: Russell Clark–bass, Vencent Edmonds–drums, Richard Krueger–acoustic guitar, Oliver Steck–accordion, mouth organ, etc., and Vernon Tonges–electric guitar.
Mama Edie Armstrong is a bilingual storyteller (Spanish/English), published writer, percussionist, speech/language pathologist, and voice-over artist who has provided international storytelling performances and workshops to parents, teachers, children, social workers, steel workers, attorneys,and various other professionals since 1989. Her stories are largely inspired by her passionate regard for her African and Native American ancestries.
Mama Edie Armstrong’s appearance at the festival is made possible by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University Library, UIUC.