Ellnora Guitar Festival Announces 2009 Event

The return of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' biennial guitar festival Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert arrives September 10-12, 2009. This newly renamed, three-day, round-the-clock guitar extravaganza will emerge with over 30 guitarists, scores of musical collaborators, innovative engagement events, 11 free performances, and global perspectives on all things guitar.

Propelled by the extraordinary success of the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival in 2005 and 2007, the 2009 festival promises an astonishing collection of genres and artists, the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a Guitar Hero gaming station, community engagement programs with Dan Zanes and Friends, and numerous opportunities to delve deeper into this truly international instrument through commentaries, discussions, and interactive workshops-all assembled by Krannert Center's director Mike Ross and his staff in collaboration with the festival's artistic advisor, David Spelman. Spelman, the founder/director of the New York Guitar Festival, also launched the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in South Australia in 2007 and has served as the artistic advisor for all three biennial Krannert Center festivals.

Plans to rename the festival, now dubbed Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center, first began as the Center embarked on preparations for this third biennial event. The festivals in 2005 and 2007 had served as microcosms of the Center's strong commitment to diversity, quality, and distinctiveness in programming. In approaching its latest incarnation, the staff realized that the first party had grown into an internationally recognized arts event and were concerned that it might be confused with other endeavors that had "wall to wall" in their titles. The decision to change the name also rested on a desire to better reflect the festival's distinctiveness and the unique micro-urban setting of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. This examination ultimately led organizers back to the inception of the Center in the 1960s, when philanthropists Herman and Ellnora Krannert first envisioned the multifaceted facility that has become a leading university-based performing arts center. Key to that vision was Mrs. Krannert's captivating plan to utilize the central lobby as a crossroads for audiences, artists, academics, and community members to meet, mix, and mingle in celebration of the arts. Ellnora Krannert's exceptional foresight has continued to lead the Center in the more than 40 years since. It was with this lineage in mind that the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival was reborn as Ellnora-to honor the philosophy, philanthropy, and powerful leadership of the Center's first patron.

The 2009 artist roster includes Ani DiFranco, the Keb' Mo' Band, the Derek Trucks Band, Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project, The National, Chicha Libre, Junior Brown, The Jerry Douglas Band, Dan Zanes & Friends, Alex de Grassi, the Leni Stern Quartet, the Frank Vignola Trio, the Brasil Guitar Duo, Debashish Bhattacharya, The Long Count, The Sisters Euclid, Nigel North, Paul Galbraith, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Erin McKeown & Natalia Zukerman, the Jake Hertzog Trio, Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo, the Laurie Morvan Band, and Luciana Souza & Romero Lubambo.

Regular updates will be posted at EllnoraGuitarFestival.com. Single tickets and festival passes go on sale July 16 at 10am. Festival passes include all eight events; passes must be purchased by August 2 for priority seating. Festival pass prices range from $80 for students to $192 for standard admission.  

PERFORMANCE DETAILS 

Opening Night Party
Chicha Libre
Junior Brown
Derek Trucks Band
Frank Vignola Trio
We ignite the 2009-10 season with our blockbuster Opening Night Party-and a quadruple bill of scorching bands, head-back-for-thirds food, dancing space, and festive crowds will keep this joint jumping well into the night. Chicha Libre's Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop claims the Lobby at 7pm, Junior Brown brings his country soul sounds in at 8pm, and the Derek Trucks Band takes over at 9pm with a funk-filled progressive roots blend. Outside, the Frank Vignola Trio fires up the Amphitheatre with feisty jazz at 7:30 and 8:45pm. Come early, stay late, and enjoy yourself to the fullest at this all-out, party-mode liftoff to the new season at Krannert Center!
Thursday, September 10 at 7pm; doors open at 6pm
Lobby
$5

 

Dan Zanes and Friends
Dan Zanes and Friends will spin train tunes, Jamaican beats, Zulu numbers, salsa, sea shanties, and the folk songs collected by Illinois son Carl Sandburg into a Lobby-wide party that will have kids and grownups on their feet for high-energy dancing, clapping, stomping, whistling, and singing.
Friday, September 11 at noon
Lobby
Free

Interval: Brasil Guitar Duo
João Luiz and Douglas Lora, the 2006 Young Concert Artists Guild International Competition winners, have demonstrated their dexterity through captivating performances at the unconventional venues of the New Music/New Places initiative as well as Carnegie Hall. Their sublime synchronicity on Bach and Scarlatti and joyous affinity for the sambas and choros of their native country are infused with musicianship that is "simply outstanding" (Classical Guitar).
Friday, September 11 at 3pm
Stage 5
Free

Traffic Jam: The Jerry Douglas Band
Jerry Douglas presides over bluegrass-this 12-time Grammy Award winner was also voted Musician of the Year three times by the Academy of Country Music-and blues, jazz, and folk ripple out from his resonator guitar. You'll savor the tornadic picking, nimble strumming, and limitless artistry of the man called "Flux."
Friday, September 11 at 5pm
Lobby
Free

Morning and Evening Ragas: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
At age four, Bhattacharya had already demonstrated his dominance on the sitar through his expressive ragas. As an instrument architect, he has more than 19 guitar designs to his credit, including three known as his "trinity of guitars" that represent, like Bhattacharya himself, the past, present, and future of Indian slide.
Friday, September 11 at 6:15pm; Saturday, September 12 at 9am
Lobby
Free
Join us for a special yoga session beginning on Saturday, September 12 at 8:30am in the Lobby.

The Long Count
The Mayans believe that we reside in the fourth world-with the fifth world set to emerge on December 20, 2012. Bandmates and brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner and artist Matthew Ritchie reveal the power and symbolism of the Mayans' long count as they intermingle the hues and cardinal directions of Mayan myth and indie rock within a revolving baseball diamond for a revealing, hypnotic sensory experience.
Friday, September 11 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

A Story of Floating Weeds with live music by Alex de Grassi
In this 1934 silent film, an aging leading man takes the "floating weeds" (itinerant actors) of his failing troupe to his hometown in the hopes of achieving triumphs in his professional life but instead suffers personal setbacks. Alex de Grassi's inspired fretboard work, divine arrangements, and delicate fluidity perfectly escort Yasujiro Ozu's contemplative visual style in an exploration of family and love.
Score commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival
Friday, September 11 at 8:30pm
Amphitheatre
Free

Keb' Mo' Band
Keb' Mo' has fearless acoustic phrasing and deft slides that reveal his connections to the Delta blues of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, and his "effervescent" and "wonderfully engaging" songs showcase his luminous voice colored with "a wink and a grin" (All Music Guide).
Friday, September 11 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 43 / SC 38 / Stu 28 / UI & Yth 23
Single: 45 / SC 40 / Stu 30 / UI & Yth 25

Afterglow: The Sisters Euclid
Fronted by Grammy Award-winning Kevin Breit, the musicians of The Sisters Euclid aren't sisters-or brothers for that matter-but they are connected to the bone through luxuriously rough and jaggedly lustrous melodies. You'll be "transfixed" when this group pulls out every conceivable six-string sound (and some seemingly impossible ones) to end this exquisite Ellnora evening (JazzReview.com).
Friday, September 11 at 11:15pm
Stage 5
Free

Bachfest
Nigel North, lute
Paul Galbraith, guitar
Brazilian Guitar Quartet

Ellnora takes a classical turn with this celebration of the Baroque master. Nigel North's gentle soul and "unfailingly stylish" playing is a perfect match for the subtle beauty of the lute (Gramophone), while Paul Galbraith brings a "soaring dignity" to Bach's work through his peerless and revolutionary approach (Los Angeles Times). Then the members of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet will add their "irresistibly driving" energy to conclude this tribute (Los Angeles Times).
Saturday, September 12 at 10am
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

Interval: Natalia Zukerman and Erin McKeown
Zukerman's tender bottleneck slide will gently entice you-and once you've heard her gentle blues-folk melodies, you'll be drawn way down into her sweetly sophisticated tunes. With songs "so catchy and clever it's a wonder she's not yet a household name," Erin McKeown will further enthrall you (Entertainment Weekly). Separate, they're delicious; together, they can't be resisted.
Saturday, September 12 at noon
Stage 5
Free

Interval: Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones
Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Ted Greene, and Lenny Breau's mastery fuel Jake Hertzog, and he's known for jamming with local favorites like Chip McNeill and Rocky Maffit. He's "sure to blow your ears wide open" with his own searing and unmistakable licks (Midwest Records), so don't miss your chance to show your love to one of our most gifted native sons!
Saturday, September 12 at 1pm
Stage 5
Free

Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs
Featuring Viktor Krauss, Greg Leisz, and Eyvind Kang

Known for a quiet demeanor and ever-present humor, Bill Frisell is a six-string giant who's been tapped by DownBeat as Guitarist of the Year five times over since 1998. His Disfarmer Project sprouts from outsider artist Mike Disfarmer's biting and intimate portraits taken in small-town Arkansas during the height of the Great Depression. Disfarmer's shimmering projected images play counterpoint to the unpretentious original music rooted in the heart of the Ozarks.
Saturday, September 12 at 2pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 30 / SC 25 / Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10

Brazilian Bash: Brasil Guitar Duo, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, and Luciana Souza featuring Romero Lubambo
The Brasil Guitar Duo and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet will turn from the splendor of their earlier shows to their flair and passion for the music of their home culture before Luciana Souza ends this ebullient afternoon. Descended from bossa nova innovators, the Grammy-nominated Souza continues this enlightened approach to her own craft through gossamer and earthy interpretations of songs and her genre-wrenching collaborations with the sophisticatedly intense guitarist Romero Lubambo.
Saturday, September 12 at 3:30pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 32 / SC 27 / Stu 23 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 34 / SC 29 / Stu 25 / UI & Yth 20

Traffic Jam: Richard Julian and Jim Campilongo
His twilit lines, painterly voice, and witty acoustics prompted Bonnie Raitt to embrace the work of Richard Julian as "some of the coolest, smartest and original music" this decade. He'll match licks with Telecaster master Jim Campilongo, who reigns as the professor of "an overall killer course on How To Play Your Instrument Putting All Others To Shame" (Billboard).
Saturday, September 12 at 6pm
Stage 5
Free

Ani DiFranco
A fiercely honest passion and the heart of a poet have drawn crowds to the hard-driving staccato fingerpicking of independent music's It Girl for over two decades. Through her unique voice and unending verve, DiFranco bravely leads all "who feel that burning desire to go farther out and experience life at a wilder level" (Folk and Music Exchange).
Saturday, September 12 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 36 / SC 31 / Stu 23 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 38 / SC 33 / Stu 25 / UI & Yth 20

The Goddess with live music by the Leni Stern Quartet
The harrowing tale of a mother-turned-prostitute set against the backdrop of 1930s Shanghai becomes palpably taut through the "haunting power" of German-born guitarist Leni Stern's original score (Washington Post). Her "beautifully drawn vignettes" musically express the struggle, solace, and hope of director Wu Yonggang's masterful film (Washington Post).
Score commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival
Saturday, September 12 at 8:30pm
Amphitheatre
Free

The National
Founded in Brooklyn by Cincinnati natives, The National briskly grew its small but heated group of followers into broad support and placement on "best of" lists from Billboard, the Los Angeles Times, and Paste Magazine. Even the Obama campaign took notice, using the band's "Fake Empire" as a backdrop for its Signs of Hope and Change video at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Saturday, September 12 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 26 / SC 21 / Stu 17 / UI & Yth 12
Single: 28 / SC 23 / Stu 19 / UI & Yth 14

Laurie Morvan Band
Pat Morvan, bass; Kevin Murillo, drums; Lisa Grubbs and Carolyn Kelley, backing vocals and percussion Before she lit up the stages at blues festivals across the country and before she opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and before her widespread recognition for "wiry, fiery solos" and a "sweet, soaring voice" (Blues Revue)-before all of that, this bluesy singer/songwriter was a standout right here at the University of Illinois. Join us in welcoming her back home!
Saturday, September 12 at 11:30pm
Lobby
Free

 

CREATIVE INTERSECTIONS AND SPECIAL FEATURES 

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
On Goodwin Street in front of Krannert Center, Free
A mobile recording and video production studio outfitted with the latest musical instruments, computers, recording equipment, and video production gear, the John Lennon Bus provides students, schools, and communities with a free, hands-on introduction to music, songwriting, video, and broadcast technologies. The John Lennon Bus will be stationed at Krannert Center's Goodwin Street entrance throughout the festival. The bus will be open for tours and activities-details are pending. 

Krannert Coffeehouse
The Intermezzo café at the north end of the Center's central lobby will be transformed into a coffeehouse for this year's festival. Patrons can grab a cup of cappuccino between performances, down an espresso shot to rev up for the late night shows, or simply relax and recharge throughout the festival. 

Outdoor Food Vendors
In addition to the large tented food area on the west terrace for the Opening Night Party, local food vendors will also be open during the evenings on both Friday and Saturday night. 

The Studio Store
The Studio Theatre, located at the north end of the Center will once again become the official festival store, featuring merchandise, sponsor tables, special displays, and meet-and-greets with select artists.

TICKETS AND INFORMATION

Ellnora | The Guitar Festival Single Tickets and Festival Passes

Single tickets and festival passes are on sale July 16 at 10am. Festival passes include all eight events; passes must be purchased by August 2 for priority seating.

Festival Pass: 192 / SC 160 / Stu 120 / UI & Yth 80

Ticket Office Information
Phone: 217/333-6280 or 800/KCPATIX (527-2849)
TTY: 217/333-9714 (for patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired)
Fax: 217/244-7469
Online: KrannertCenter.com or EllnoraGuitarFestival.com
E-mail: kran-tix@illinois.edu 

Mail: Krannert Center Ticket Office
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801-3788

In person: Visit the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 500 South Goodwin Avenue in Urbana, Illinois, anytime daily from 10am to 6pm. 

General Ticket Information/Key to Ticket Prices
SC = Senior citizens 65 years or older or retired University of Illinois faculty and staff
UI = University of Illinois students who have paid the Krannert Center fee
Stu = All students college age or younger
Yth = All children high school age or younger  

CREDITS 

Krannert Center's Ellnora | The Guitar Festival is supported in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and these sponsors: 

Patron Sponsor: Anonymous 

Patron Co-sponsors: Frances and Marc Ansel; Jean Huddleston, Kelly Foster, and Paul Foster; Mary and George Perlstein; and Carol and Ed Scharlau 

Corporate Power Train Engines: Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center; Scanics 

Corporate Platinum Event Sponsor: WCIA 3 

Corporate Gold Sponsor: One Main Development 

Corporate Silver Sponsors: Dean's Graphic Division; Chief/Bauer Heating & Air Conditioning; and The Blind Man Hunter Douglas Gallery 

Corporate Bronze Sponsors: Bacca Cigar Company; Barham Benefit Group; and Jeffrey Van Buren, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, and Valerie Van Buren 

ELLNORA | THE GUITAR FESTIVAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Th Sep 10
7pm    Opening Night Party with Chicha Libre, Junior Brown, the Derek Trucks Band, and the Frank Vignola Trio 

Fr Sep 11
Noon | Dan Zanes and Friends
3pm | Interval: Brasil Guitar Duo
5pm | Traffic Jam: The Jerry Douglas Band
6:15pm | Evening Raga: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
7pm | The Long Count
8:30pm | A Story of Floating Weeds with live music by Alex de Grassi
10pm | Keb' Mo' Band
11:15pm | Afterglow: The Sisters Euclid

Sa Sep 12
8:30am | Yoga Session
9am | Morning Raga: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
10am | Bachfest: Nigel North, lute; Paul Galbraith, guitar; Brazilian Guitar Quartet
Noon | Interval: Natalia Zukerman and Erin McKeown
1pm | Interval: Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones
2pm | Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs Featuring Viktor Krauss, Greg Leisz, and Eyvind Kang
3:30pm | Brazilian Bash: Brasil Guitar Duo, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, and Luciana Souza featuring Romero Lubambo
6pm | Traffic Jam: Richard Julian and Jim Campilongo
7pm | Ani DiFranco
8:30pm | The Goddess with live music by the Leni Stern Quartet
10pm | The National
11:30pm | Laurie Morvan Band with Pat Morvan, bass; Kevin Murillo, drums; Lisa Grubbs and Carolyn Kelley, backing vocals and percussion.

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