photo by Sanjay Suchak- for the Grateful Web

The return of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' biennial Wall to Wall Guitar Festival erupts September 13-15, 2007. This three-day festival rejoices in all things guitar in a nearly-round-the-clock celebration and exploration of an instrument that holds an essential place in almost every musical tradition around the globe. The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two , boasts over 30 diverse musicians, from as close as Krannert's Central Illinois backdoor all the way to the deep south, Hawaii, and beyond. International artists taking part call places like India, Scotland, Spain, France, and Iraq home, but for three days this fall, they'll all reside in this teeming guitar bazaar filled with uncommon collaborations, unbelievable legends, and undeniable energy.

Building upon the intense momentum of the 2005 inaugural festival, Wall to Wall, Take Two, promises an even greater breadth of genres, variety of activities, and capacity for unexpected moments. There will be nine mainstage concerts (most with multiple billings), six free performances in the Krannert Center lobby, the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, GarageBand workshops presented by Apple Computer, guitar workshops at local music stores, Guitar Hero competitions (including a VIP competition on opening night), exhibits at Techline and the Center for American Music, a Krannert Center Youth Series performance, and numerous opportunities to dive into the 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 . Spelman, who will also help launch the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in South Australiathis year, says he vividly remembers the "impromptu collaborations" that evolved in the 2005 festival, and expects "Wall to Wall, Take Two, to be even more exciting and full of surprises."

The 2007 featured players include an all-star opening night line-up of Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar  (a 2005 participant), Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers (with returnee Vernon Reid ), Bob Brozman , and Led Kaapana . They are joined for this three-day immersion by Rahim AlHaj, Pierre Bensusan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Tim Brookes, Shawn Colvin, The Delta Kings, Ed Gerhard, Alex de Grassi, Buddy Guy, Fareed Haque, Goran Ivanovic, Jorma Kaukonen, Kaki King (another W2W alum), Los Lobos, Harry Manx, John McLaughlin , Tony McManus, North Mississippi Allstars, Paul O'Dette, The Romeros , composer Phil Kline , Dan Zanes (also a second-timer), and Natalia Zukerman .

Partners like Apple Computer and iTunes will bring the festival even closer through podcasted interviews with artists, special festival downloads, and opportunities to listen to music and readings from Wall to Wall musicians. Regular updates will be posted at Single tickets and festival passes are on sale June 29 at 10am. Festival passes include all nine mainstage events; passes must be purchased by July 20 for priority seating. Festival pass prices range from $103 for students to $216 for standard admission.Tickets for individual shows will also be available for purchase.


Wall to Wall Guitar Festival Opening Night Party
Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar, Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers with Vernon Reid and DJ Logic, Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana
Thursday, September 13 at 7pmLobby and Amphitheatre, $5

It's all about the mix—this teeming guitar bazaar—this surging, pulsing open market of eating and dancing and mingling and listening and rocking and laughing—it's's's in the moment! Experience five live performances, outdoor food vendors, the Wall to Wall Studio Theatre Store, Guitar Hero competitions, and more–there's even free coffee to keep the crowd going on into the night.

Blending Mali's desert blues with Surf and "Dirty South" influences into a genre all its own, Toubab Krewe sets a "new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music," says Banning Eyre at Afropop Worldwide. This instrumental quintet developed its unique sound over the course of extended stays in West Africa, immersing itself in the culture, studying, and performing with masters. Toubab Krewe will take the stage at 7pm in the lobby.

Eric Clapton calls Sonny Landreth "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet." The New York Times calls him "a musician who has deeply investigated his instrument without leaving his roots." Come witness the bottleneck slide and thumbpicking that have garnered such esteem. Hear the percussive guitar playing that burst from his southern Louisiana heritage and forged a sound all his own en route to becoming the acclaimed "King of Slydeco." Those who want to go to school on slide guitar can pick up Cindy Cashdollar 's definitive 2004 Slide Show . Several of the artists who joined this five-time Grammy winner on that recording will be in town for the second W2W festival. At 8pm Sonny Landreth Band and Ms. Cashdollar will take the stage in the lobby.

When such musicians as Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin ushered gospel into secular concert halls, much African-American sacred music burst forth from sanctuaries and poured into the streets. Only recently has that phenomenon occurred for the "Sacred Steel" repertoire of Holiness-Pentecostal gospel vocals and electric steel guitar. Their 2004 National Heritage Fellowship placed the Campbell Brothers squarely at the forefront of this emergence. "With pedal steel guitar lines swooping skyward like a gospel shouter; two Campbell brothers trade off leads, carrying the songs to peak after peak," writes Jon Pareles in the New York Times , while Andy Grigg in Real Blues writes that brother Chuck is "the Jimi Hendrix and the Django Reinhardt of the steel guitar." Don't miss the Campbell Brothers lobby performance at 9pm .

An All About Jazz review characterized the Yohimbe Brothers album The Tao of Yo as "hard rock psycho-turntabulism that pushes the envelope," and that's a good way to begin to get a handle on what these musicians are all about. The "brothers" are Vernon Reid of the rock band Living Colour, who returns following a blistering appearance at the first Wall to Wall festival, and turntablist DJ Logic, whose jazz collaborators have included Joshua Redman, John Scofield, and Medeski Martin and Wood. Amazon describes the Brothers' first recorded venture, Front End Lifter , as a "potent blend of hip-hop, electronica, circus music, blues and soul, dub reggae, and, as is to be expected, full-tilt rock & roll." The Yohimbe Brothers will keep the night going strong as they take the stage at 10pm in the lobby.

Bob Brozman has been called "a walking archive of 20th–century American music." A Blues in London interview began, "Spoken of with reverence by slide guitarists around the world, Bob Brozman is more than a virtuoso." Asked what led him to champion National guitars over the years, Brozman responded, "a National goes from a whisper to a roar, controlled by muscle action, which ideally is controlled by emotional feeling." Those emotions resulted in back-to-back wins in Guitar Player's Readers' Polls in both blues and slide guitar categories. At Krannert Center he celebrates Hawaiian slack key guitar for a performance with Led Kaapana , a master of the style who appeared on this year's Grammy-winning Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live From Maui . Having grown up with no electricity on the black sand bay of Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kaapana tells of backyard parties that lasted for days. "People played in shifts, taking over when somebody went to sleep. You'd fall asleep to the music, wake up...and the music was still playing." After 40 years as a professional musician, the music is still playing. Accompanying his slack key playing with an extraordinary baritone voice that can modulate to a leo ki`eki`e (falsetto), musical legend Kaapana will plant palms swaying in balmy breezes in the heartland evening during this outdoor concert from 7pm to 9pm.

Interval: The Goran Ivanovic and Fareed Haque Duo
Friday, September 14 at noon
Lobby, Free

Yes, it is true that Goran Ivanovic was born of a Serbian father and a Bosnian Croat mother...and that Fareed Haque was born of a Pakistani father and a Chilean mother...but that's just the beginning of their musical lineage. Ivanovic studied at Salzburg's Mozarteum with Eliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch. Haque has performed with Sting, the classical violinist Kennedy, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, Arturo Sandoval, Ramsey Lewis, Edgar Meyer, Paquito D'Rivera, and members of the Vermeer Quartet. Strains of classical, pop, jazz, Latin, blues, and world music simmer in the haunting laments and propulsive dances of their "Macedonian blues for two guitars." When Acoustic Guitar magazine asked how the duo could reinvent their work at every performance, Haque replied simply, "Trust," and then went on to elaborate, "Hopefully, when Goran and I play, people will get excited...forget that it's classical and just think it's fun." The man the Chicago Tribune calls "lightning-fingered guitarist Goran Ivanovic" added, "It should always be a new beginning." Join us for one such "new beginning."

Shawn Colvin, Natalia Zukerman
Friday, September 14 at 2pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 33 / SC & Stu 28 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20
Five Star: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15

Before winning Grammys for "Song of the Year" and "Record of the Year," before guesting on "The Simpsons," before performing multiple Lilith Fair stints, and before singing duets with Tony Bennett...before all that, Shawn Colvin's first public concert—at age 15—took place at the University of Illinois, home to Krannert Center. Now her amazingly versatile voice and melancholy guitar return triumphant. Oft compared to Joni Mitchell, an early idol of hers, singer/songwriter Colvin has transitioned from what she calls her "prolonged adolescence" into the maturity of a fully accomplished artist—the maturity of what Rolling Stone calls her "Raymond Carver-esque short-story songs." Colvin emerges as a clear-eyed and warm-hearted storyteller, leavening even her toughest tales with tenderness and empathy and offering musical arrangements understated enough to allow her lyrics to sink in.

In liner notes on a recent CD, Natalia Zukerman offers what would seem to be the customary thanks to her family, saying they hold her up, push, love and inspire her. Such a family nod is anything but customary, however, when your grandfather played clarinet in Klezmer bands in Poland, your sister Arianna sings opera, and your parents are violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and flutist/writer Eugenia Zukerman. Alas for the world of classical music, Natalia's early immersion worked a different sort of magic on her. "I didn't like getting dressed up and sitting in silence, rehearsing and playing the same piece the same way, over and over again." So she set aside her violin for a guitar to accompany her sultry, folkish vocals. "She can switch from scat to swoon in the course of a glissando," says The New Yorker . North American audiences have heard shades of Joni Mitchell with a dash of Janis Ian and a pinch of Tracy Chapman added to the mix. And oh that guitar! The New Yorker speaks of "nimble fingers capable of picking upward of thirty notes per measure," while fellow performer Andy Friedman says her "Delta-slide guitar can open a beer bottle with its teeth."

Traffic Jam: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana
Friday, September 14 at 5pm
Lobby, Free

Bob Brozman and Led Kaapana return for an encore appearance following their outdoor opening night performance. Brozman has been called "a walking archive of 20th–century American music." A Blues in London interview began, "Spoken of with reverence by slide guitarists around the world, Bob Brozman is more than a virtuoso." Asked what led him to champion National guitars over the years, Brozman responded, "a National goes from a whisper to a roar, controlled by muscle action, which ideally is controlled by emotional feeling." Those emotions resulted in back-to-back wins in Guitar Player's Readers' Polls in both blues and slide guitar categories. Asked not long ago what he had coming up, Brozman listed, "March sees the release of my new 'orchestra' world project, wherein I play 12-27 instruments myself for each song, all strings and percussion. March and April I will be in Australia, end of April to May in France and Germany. June in Hawaii, teaching Hawaiian music, July back in Italy for a summer tour, September a few US dates..."

Fortunately for us, one of those "few" dates in the states will be Krannert Center for Hawaiian slack key performance with Led Kaapana , a master of the style who appeared on this year's Grammy-winning Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live From Maui . Having grown up with no electricity on the black sand bay of Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kaapana tells of backyard parties that lasted for days. "People played in shifts, taking over when somebody went to sleep. You'd fall asleep to the music, wake up...and the music was still playing." After 40 years as a professional musician, the music is still playing. Accompanying his slack key playing with an extraordinary baritone voice that can modulate to a leo ki`eki`e (falsetto), musical legend Led Kaapana will plant palms swaying in balmy breezes in the heartland evening.

Global Guitar
Rahim AlHaj, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pierre Bensusan
Friday, September 14 at 7pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17
Single: 34 / SC & Stu 29 / UI & Yth 19
Five Star: 29 / SC & Stu 24 / UI & Yth 14

The oud, dating back 5,000 years to Mesopotamia, may be the ancestor of all stringed instruments, and Rahim AlHaj is one of the world's leading performers on it. Before having to flee his native Baghdad as a result of his anti-Saddam activities, AlHaj studied under Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever. In exile AlHaj passes on the tradition through teaching and performance, both as a solo artist and accompanied by a string quartet. "My mission is to bring out the spiritual meaning that lies behind the notes. My music is not to entertain, but to communicate compassion, love, and peace," says AlHaj. "To me music is the medium to talk to God."

Surely his parents were prophetic when they named him Vishwa Mohan, which translates as "world charmer." He was invited to perform at Royal Albert Hall for the 100th anniversary of the acclaimed BBC Proms and at Madison Square Garden for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. In 1994 he and Ry Cooder won a Best World Music Grammy for A Meeting by the River, improvisations recorded in one evening without rehearsal. The Hindustan Times calls Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt "the most popular Indian artist abroad." One of the great Ravi Shankar's earliest pupils, Bhatt was initially brought to the world's attention for his Indianization of the Hawaiian guitar, reworking it to create the 19-stringed instrument known today as the mohan veena – "mohan" acknowledging his paternity and "veena" being Sanskrit for "stringed instrument."  (Look for fellow Wall to Wall performer Harry Manx also to shine on the mohan veena.)

A steel-string acoustic guitarist might seem unlikely to become a jazz player of the first order. Jazz performers generally prefer electric guitars or nylon-stringed acoustics to get through their gymnastic chord positions and quick runs. One look at Pierre Bensusan onstage, barring chords while stretching five, sometimes six frets, is usually enough to stop even the most well-versed jazz aficionado cold. Add to this the man's accomplishments as composer and improvisational vocalist, who melds whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique, and you've got a phenom! Born in Algeria and raised in Paris, he signed his first recording contract at 17. The next year saw him debut at Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival and also saw his first album, Près de Paris, win the Grand Prix du Disque. Jazziz says, "'Spirited' is the word that perhaps best sums up Bensusan's performance. His message is articulate and delivered with an unmistakable joie de vivre." And France's L'Arche calls his music "infinitely poetic and celestial. A hymn to humanity."

Los Lobos
Friday, September 14 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 37 / SC & Stu 32 / UI & Yth 22
Single: 39 / SC & Stu 34 / UI & Yth 24
Five Star: 34 / SC & Stu 29 / UI & Yth 19

They've been together since the late 70s, touring as the opening act for Dylan and the Grateful Dead and headlining their own shows. If you haven't heard them, perhaps you could be forgiven for thinking of these multi-Grammy winners as "Just Another Band from East L.A." (as one of their CDs puts it), despite the fact that their "La Bamba," a single from the soundtrack of the Ritchie Valens biopic, landed at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, one of the rare non-English US chart-toppers.

Reviewers from The Boston Herald to Metacritic chose The Town and the City as one of the top ten CDs of the past year. In announcing their top ten selection for World Cafe's list, NPR host David Dye wondered aloud whether after three decades Los Lobos hadn't said everything it had to say. No, he answered himself, the group latches on to its material "with subtlety and characteristic intelligence, a gift for storytelling and irresistible beats. Of course, it helps to have one of the best guitarists around in David Hidalgo." Rolling Stone echoes Dye's assessment: "With the exception of U2, no other band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos."

Afterglow: North Mississippi Allstars
Friday, September 14 around midnight
Lobby, Free

Having grown up immersed in a musical culture as rich as the black Mississippi dirt (a musical culture that showcased RL Burnside, Otha Turner, and Junior Kimbrough), brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson joined up with Chris Chew to form the core of the North Mississippi Allstars. From playing and shaking it down at local juke joints, they've taken their hill country, blues-infused rock 'n' roll to stages all over the country and on multiple tours to Europe and Asia. The New York Times called their Shake Hands with Shorty (Grammy-nominated for "Best Contemporary Blues Album") "reminiscent of the power blues of 60's rock acts like Cream, Steppenwolf, and Jimi Hendrix, but with the postmodern electricity of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the exploratory lust of jambands like Phish and Widespread Panic."

Family Fun
Dan Zanes and Friends
Saturday, September 15 at 10am
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 18 / SC & Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 20 / SC & Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10
Five Star: 15 / SC & Stu 10 / UI & Yth 5

Former Del Fuegos lead singer Dan Zanes is a rock 'n' roller who started a label for family music, brought great guests into the mix (Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, Philip Glass, Aimee Mann, and Simon Kirke, the drummer for Bad Company, to name a few), sold a lot of records, and started touring the country. Dan and his troupe drag old-time songs kicking and screaming into the 21st century with the verve that won them this year's Grammy for "Best Musical Album for Children." In his appearance at the inaugural Wall to Wall festival, Dan Zanes had 'em up and dancing in the aisles. He returns with his "fun for all ages" celebration of good music and good times. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Interval: Ed Gerhard
Saturday, September 15 at 12:30pm
Lobby, Free

From sold out tours of Japan to festivals in Italy, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard connects with international audiences via his distinctive combination of virtuosity and generosity...and a touch of humor thrown in for good measure. Known for gorgeous tone and compositional depth, in the space of a single concert Gerhard may switch from six-string to twelve-string to slide to Hawaiian lap steel, mesmerizing audience members with a song, cracking them up with an improvised joke, and then  immersing them in the depths of the next piece before they know it. His music is featured in the Ken Burns film Mark Twain . The Ed Gerhard Signature Model has become one of Breedlove's best-selling guitars and won Acoustic Guitar magazine's "Player's Choice Award." And Gerhard was recently awarded a Grammy for his arrangement and performance of "Moon River" on Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar.

Classic and Historic
Paul O'Dette, The Romeros
Saturday, September 15 at 2pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 28 / SC & Stu 23 / UI & Yth 13
Single: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15
Five Star: 25 / SC & Stu 20 / UI & Yth 10

By day he's a mild-mannered professor of lute at the Eastman School of Music who quietly enchants students; by night Paul O'Dette becomes an audience mesmerizer. While best known for his solo lute virtuosity, O'Dette routinely performs ensemble turns with the likes of Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, William Christie, Christopher Hogwood, and Tafelmusik. Highlights among his more than 100 solo and ensemble recordings include multiple "Record of the Year" nominations from Gramophone and Ovation , a Grammy for his CD of Purcell songs recorded with Sylvia McNair, and a Grammy nomination for his conducting. Scholarly mastery of the Baroque and early music repertoire thoroughly informs his playing.

Many year ago the patriarch of a Málaga family, Celedonio Romero, taught and then performed with his sons Celin, Pepe, and Angel. Today The Romeros consist of Pepe, Celin, Celino (Celin's son), and Lito (Angel's son). Spain's King Juan Carlos knighted brothers Pepe, Celin, and Angel, and The Romeros have been invited to perform at both the White House and the Vatican. This very special concert features historic instruments from The Romeros' own collection. Pepe Romero says, "We are so excited about this opportunity for the public to hear these wonderful instruments from our collection. We have spent many evenings at home playing them, comparing the sounds, marveling at the greatness of the makers, indulging ourselves! We will be playing guitars by Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso, and Miguel Rodriguez I. These represent the core of the Spanish school of luthiers."

Traffic Jam: Harry Manx
Saturday, September 15 at 4pm
Lobby, Free

His album titles give a feel for the "Mysticssippi" flavor of Harry Manx's gospel-tinged vocals and Indian-inspired instrumentals. One album, consisting of live recordings from performances on three continents, is entitled Road Ragas . Another is West Eats Meet , and yet another is Mantras for Madmen , with "madmen" referring to artists and musicians. "The way I see it, blues is like the earth and Indian music is like the heavens," Manx says. "What I do is find the balance between the two." Striving for that balance finds him playing lap slide guitar one moment and tamboura the next, banjo followed by mohan veena. In the spirit of Miles Davis, Manx seeks that spiritual quality of abandonment in which the "silence between the notes says as much as the notes themselves."

Wood, Steel, and Beyond
Kaki King, Tony McManus, Alex de Grassi
Saturday, September 15 at 5pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15
Single: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17
Five Star: 27 / SC & Stu 22 / UI & Yth 12

The zeitgirl of instrumental acoustic guitar, Kaki King could hardly be expected to just stand still. Lately she's swapped out the acoustic for an electric, a lap steel, and unexpectedly, her own voice. Still fully capable of jaw-dropping pyrotechnics, King is self-assured and irreverent but not afraid to be vulnerable and disarmingly sweet. Reviewing a recent CD, The Advocate said that "You Don't Have to Be Afraid" offered an eight-minute "wave of chiming, textured melody that will bring you as close to bliss as you're likely to feel anytime soon." And reviewing a recent concert, The New York Times said King's earlier "percussive, super-fluid style" was "the kind of thing that makes people say 'Wow' as an involuntary reflex," going on to note, "now she's making music that more often sounds like the abstract, dreamy and hypnotic end of alternative rock."

Largely self-taught, Alex de Grassi's musical sensibility results from multiple influences. Born in Japan and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, he developed an early love of music from his father (a classically trained pianist) and his mother (a jazz aficionado). "The two recordings I heard the most as a child were Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 and the Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald version of Porgy and Bess." Today The Washington Post speaks of de Grassi's "one man guitar duets," while DownBeat says "his touch is as exquisite as his lyricism." The Los Angeles Times calls him "an acoustic guitarist of virtuosic strength and ability." The Wall Street Journal gets the last word, though, when it calls his playing "flawless." Not a bad set of clippings for this player who roams stages from Carnegie Hall to the Montreux Jazz Festival with his acoustic folk/jazz stylings.

When "All Star Guitar Night" was being planned for Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, it was only natural that Scotsman Tony McManus got a call asking him to come over. Acoustic Guitar calls him "a master of the idiom," the BBC's Radio Scotland proclaims him "the finest guitarist Scotland has ever produced," and the Sunday Mail describes his playing with such accolades as "truly sublime" and "beautifully effervescent." WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, exclaims that "McManus elevates and ultimately transcends the genre" of finger-style guitar, calling his work "stunning." Known as "Mr. McMonster" in honor of his ferocious technique, McManus ranges across a musical landscape that includes works as diverse as the plaintive Jewish hymn "Shalom Aleichem" and the Charles Mingus composition "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." 

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension
Saturday, September 15 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 38 / SC & Stu 33 / UI & Yth 23
Single: 40 / SC & Stu 35 / UI & Yth 25
Five Star: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20

Verve Records says that if this "British improviser had decided to retire in 1980, he still would have gone down in history as one of jazz-rock's most influential axmen." Miles Davis, a man who flat-out knew how to break new ground, relied on McLaughlin in such groundbreaking fusion works as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew . With his own groups, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, McLaughlin continued his musical explorations, moving on to two recordings of an acoustic guitar summit with Al DiMeola and Paco de Lucia and a classical album with the London Symphony Orchestra. "I'm an eternal learner," McLaughlin says. "I don't want to stop learning because I feel that no matter what I've done, I'm really just beginning again."

Evening Blues
Jorma Kaukonen with Cindy Cashdollar, Buddy Guy
Saturday, September 15 at 9:30pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20
Single: 37 / SC & Stu 32 / UI & Yth 22
Five Star: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17

As a teen Jorma Kaukonen fell in love with roots music. He and buddy Jack Casady haunted the blues, jazz, and bluegrass clubs of Washington, D.C. In college he worked to develop elaborate fingerstyle fretwork after the fashion of Rev. Gary Davis. Then Kaukonen's passion took a backseat for a bit as he and Casady and a few others formed a rock band in San Francisco. They named the fledgling band after his nickname and did well enough—well enough, that is, to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Jefferson Airplane, defining psychedelic rock for a generation. That early passion for roots music jumped from the backseat into the driver's seat when he and Casady formed yet another group, Hot Tuna. Now, dozens of albums on, Kaukonen tours and records both with Hot Tuna and as a solo act. He's joined for Evening Blues by Wall to Wall favorite Cindy Cashdollar .

Back in the day, Jimi Hendrix was known to cancel concerts so that he could hear Buddy Guy perform at a nearby club. Rod Stewart was valet on Guy's first trip to England. In sweet home Chicago, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson depended on him as their first-call session man in the Chess Records stable. Looking back, Eric Clapton simply observes, "Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others." Raised on a plantation, the son of a sharecropper, Buddy Guy reflects on his music and his life by noting, "I'm from Louisiana, where nothing is ever too spicy or too hot.'' He's a musician's musician and a showman's showman all the way from Damn Right, I've Got the Blues to his recent box-set release Can't Quit the Blues .

Wrap-up Afterglow with The Delta Kings
Saturday, September 15, about 11:30pm
Lobby, Free

Before we call it a wrap, let's bring it on home with the boys from back home—CU's very own Delta Kings. They're bad, they're mad, and they're consistently voted one of the best local bands in Champaign-Urbana. Check out The Delta Kings' rockin' blues with an occasional twang!


Creative Intersections: Get More for Less, Experience Free Activities Surrounding the Festival

GarageBand Workshop
Dates and Times TBA
Krannert Center, Free

Apple's GarageBand software lets you create, perform, and record your own music, no matter what your level of expertise. Whether you're a seasoned or aspiring musician, or just want to feel and sound like a rock star, GarageBand lets you easily record multiple tracks at the same time, sing as you play the guitar, harmonize with your best singing bud, or jam with the band. And when your tracks are in place, you can view software instruments in music notation and take advantage of GarageBand features to enhance the tuning and timing of your recordings.

World on a String Premiere
Thursday, September 6 at 3:30pm
Stage 5, Free

Over the years thousands of performers have "played" Krannert Center, but composer, performer, and installation artist Phil Kline will be the first to actually play Krannert Center with the world premiere of World on a String , which turns Krannert's vast lobby into a meta-instrument, one humongous guitar. Kline says of his commissioned composition and installation, "Yeats wrote of 'a laughing string whereon mad fingers play.' That sounds right. I have heard them laugh, and I have also heard them cry, moan, and squawk. Sometimes they roar. It all depends on how you excite them. That's the technical term for a string's vibration: excitement. It's in the way that you use it, whether it's struck, plucked, caressed, or bent."

Guitar Workshop
Saturday, September 8 at time TBA
CV Lloyde Music Shop, Free

Michael Kammin, guest instructor, leads participants in two sessions of lessons focusing on tuning techniques and other facets of playing. There will be separate sessions for youth and adults.

Vintage Instrument Display
Wednesday-Friday, September 12-14 from 9am to 5pm; Saturday, September 15 from 10am to 5pm
Techline (24 E Green St, Champaign), Free

View a private collection of vintage instruments, bring your own instrument for show-and-tell, and join in musical jam sessions. Banjos, guitars, mandolins, and mandocellos find a home for two days in the Techline showroom. Some of the instruments on display will be available for purchase.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
Thursday, September 13 from 6pm to 11pm and Saturday, September 15 from 10am to 4pm
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 Wall to Wall Guitar Festival. Tent activities are open each day of the festival. The bus will be open for tours.

The Eddie Alkire Collection
Thursday, September 13 at 1pm
Sousa Archive, Center for American Music
236 Harding Band Building, 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign
Free; tickets required due to limited capacity

Eddie Alkire began life in a coal mining town in West Virginia but after learning electronics and guitar via correspondence courses, he eventually became a pioneer in guitar design, teaching, tuning, and composition, and a 1983 inductee into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. The Sousa Archives at the U of I now house five of his instruments including three of his signature Eharp steel guitars. Brozman and Kaapana, both recognized as legends of the Hawaiian guitar, will put their talents to work on these archival instruments dating from 1932 to 1972, all tuned up using Alkire's own unique system.


Wall to Wall Guitar Single Tickets and Festival Passes
Single tickets and festival passes are on sale June 29 at 10am. Festival passes include all nine mainstage events; passes must be purchased by July 20 for priority seating.
Festival  Pass : $216 / SC & Stu 176/ UI & Yth 103

Ticket Office Information
 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: or

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 citizen, 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       =          Students: All students college-age or younger
Yth       =          Youth: All children high school-age or younger


Krannert Center's Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two, is supported in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and these sponsors:
Federal Grant: National Endowment for the Arts
National Media Partner: iTunes
Community Lead Festival Partners: Apple, Busey Bank, Fox Development Corporation, One
Main Development
Additional Festival Support: Historic Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center, JSM Development,
Yellow Book USA
Private Foundation: The Augustine Foundation
Patron Sponsors: Judy and Daniel Dethmers, Mary and George Perlstein
Patron Co-sponsors: Frances and Marc Ansel, Shirley and Arthur Traugott, Mary and B. Joseph White, Anonymous
Corporate Silver Sponsors: Hendrick House, RATIO Architects, Inc., WBCP 1580 AM
Corporate Bronze Sponsors: ArchiTextures Design Center, Bacca Cigar Company, Barham Benefit Group, Jeffrey and Valerie Van Buren of Wachovia Securities, Kent and Pam Pettyjohn of Pettyjohn Builders


Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two Calendar of Events

Th Sep 6           3:30pm          World on a String
                                             Phil Kline, composer

Tu Sep 11        1pm               The Eddie Alkire Collection
                                 Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana, Tim Brookes

We Sep 12        9am               Vintage Instrument Display (continues till 5pm daily from Sep 12-15)

Th Sep 13         6pm               John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

                         7pm               Wall to Wall Guitar Festival: Opening Night Party 
                                             Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar, 
                                             Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers with Vernon Reid 
                                             and DJ Logic, Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana

Fr Sep 14         12pm             Interval  
                                             Goran Ivanovic and Fareed Haque Duo

                         2pm               Singer/Songwriter
                                             Shawn Colvin and Natalia Zukerman

4pm               Traffic Jam
                                 Bob Brozman and Led Kaapana, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

                        7pm               Global Guitar     
                                             Rahim AlHaj, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pierre Bensusan

                        10pm             Los Lobos

11:30pm         Wall to Wall Guitar Festival: Afterglow
North Mississippi Allstars

Sa Sep 15         10am              Family Fun        
                                              Dan Zanes and Friends

                        10am                John Lennon Educational Tour Bus                     

12:30pm            Interval
                                    Ed Gerhard

2pm                  Classic and Historic
                                    Paul O'Dette, The Romeros

4pm                  Traffic Jam
                                    Harry Manx

5pm                  Wood, Steel, and Beyond
                                    Kaki King, Tony McManus, and Alex de Grassi

7pm                  John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension 

9:30pm             Evening Blues
                                    Jorma Kaukonen with Cindy Cashdollar, Buddy Guy

11:30pm            Wrap–up Afterglow
                                    The Delta Kings

  • Latest
  • Popular
  • Tags
  • Comments
Tired of looking over your shoulder before telling a funny s...
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 16:28
React, Rebirth Garments, and the Arts of Life Present Rotati...
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 16:17
Fresh off of their critically acclaimed debut release, Keys...
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 16:10
Stony Plain Records announces a November 17 release date for...
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 15:09
5 months 4 weeks ago
Legend Valley is only 50 miles from home,I'm gonna have to catch the Jubilee one of t...
3 years 3 months ago
For more about Thomas Merton check out this site written by one of his studens:   mer...
3 years 4 months ago
Diana Krall concert is coming soon in Valley Performing Arts Center,North ridge on Ap...
3 years 6 months ago