ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival wraps Third Successful Event
ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival (the biennial event previously known as Wall to Wall Guitar Festival), held September 10-12, 2009 at the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, wrapped up its third successful event with more than 30 world-class guitarists - including 11 free performances - over three days.
Renowned for incredible acoustic spaces, the Krannert Center at Urbana's University of Illinois campus offers an enviable variety of state-of-the-art performance spaces. Every other year, ELLNORA brings an amazingly diverse hand-picked lineup to these incredible rooms, offering a "festival" experience unlike any other. At this most recent event, attendees witnessed indie-rock darlings The National in a room quiet enough to hear a pin drop, watched Junior Brown play thunderous riffs at Ellnora's opening bash, and enjoyed the classical sounds of some of Johann Sebastian Bach's best modern interpreters (including Nigel North, Paul Galbraith and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet) performing live at special festival offering dubbed "Bachfest."
Taking full advantage of Krannert's facilities, the 2009 event moved further into the integration of music and art, this year highlighting especially the visual arts. Bill Frisell performed his moving Disfarmer Project, an ode to photographer Mike Disfarmer's Great Depression-era photos; The Long Count paired visual art phenomenon Matthew Ritchie with Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National) and Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders, The Pixies) to create a feast of images and song-filled myth about the beginning of time; and in an outside amphitheater, fans enjoyed silent films accompanied by live musicians (Alex De Grassi and Leni Stern Quartet) performing soundtracks they'd composed especially for the films.
Mike Ross, Director of the Krannert Center, recapped the weekend saying, "It's been a fabulous joy to watch this talent-packed, high-energy festival become a major signature piece for our vibrant micro-urban community in such a short time. The overwhelming response we received from this year's audiences signals an even more robust pathway forward."
Check out www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com for videos, photos, interviews and more from the 2009 event.