Festival Kicks Off Tonight! 5 pm at KCPA

Son Monarcas (Latin) is a Latin Folk Fusion ensemble led by Mercedes Inez Martinez

Son Monarcas

Son Monarcas

and Irekani Ferreyra. Like the path of the Monarch Butterfly, they take you on a musical migration from the USA to Latin America by fusing indie soul with traditional son & cumbia. Son Monarcas is comprised of musicians who are well-versed in the Afro-Mestizo genres of folk music from Latin America and blend the traditional with the contemporary by creating original arrangements of “son” while retaining the foundation of the traditional style.
Thursday 5:00-7:00 pm, FREE, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

You can also catch Son Monarcas Friday, 8:30-9:45 pm at the Iron Post

A standing ovation to Unit One/Allen Hall and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for their co-sponsorship of Son Monarcas!

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.

Ginny O’Brien

Ginny O'BrienGinny O’Brien has been singing with kids most of her life, as a camp counselor, songleader and teacher. You will find her these days playing her guitar and singing with children at storytime at the Champaign Public Library.

Come join us for an interactive half hour of singing and fun!  

( Program will be designed for ages 3 to 9 years old, and for the Young at Heart )

Thunder Medicine

Thunder Medicine

Thunder Medicine

As part of Native American Heritage Month, the Native American House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is sponsoring a very special performance at this year’s C-U Folk and Roots Festival. Regina Tsosie (Navajo) and Larry Lockwood (Northern Cheyenne) are the members of Thunder Medicine, a Native American performing group, and members of the Native American Coalition of the Quad Cities. Regina and Larry travel throughout the Midwest presenting cultural performances through song, dance, drumming, and storytelling.

Check out this snippet from a performance at Richland Community College!

Morris Dancers

Boneyard Morris DancersMorris dance is a traditional dance from England that has been done for hundreds of years. There are several references to Morris dance in Shakespeare. Each village or region has its own set of dances. Come check out this unique form of dance demonstrated by our local Morris dancers! Audience members will be encouraged to try it out too.

Reverend Robert

Reverend RobertReverend Robert is a master of prewar blues. He has delved deep into the styles of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and other delta blues giants. In the past two decades he has become accomplished at many other early twentieth century styles including ragtime and early jazz, Hawaiian, African and Caribbean. He combines these styles seamlessly in a combination of infectious rhythm and an authentic acoustic sound.

Jordan Kaye

Jordan KayeJordan Kaye and his Prairie Dogs have been a fixture of the Champaign-Urbana music scene for 15+ years. Don’t miss this chance to see Jordan all on his lonesome. He surely knows at least a thousand songs and a hundred jokes, and twice as many chords.