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ELLNORA Guitar Festival Unveils 2013 Lineup

The 2013 ELLNORA Guitar Festival will host Buddy Guy, Dweezil Zappa, Paco Pena, and many more.

Champaign, IL (June 11, 2013) -- On September 5, 6, and 7, 2013, a prodigious array of the world’s most distinctive and influential guitarists will gather for ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival, presented by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, situated in the vibrant micro-urban setting of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The biennial event provides an unparalleled mixed-genre experience being emulated by other festivals and features performances from a diverse lineup of distinguished music makers.

The internationally recognized event, deemed “one of the world’s most forward-thinking guitar festivals” by Fretboard Journal, has emerged as a favorite destination for musicians and fans from around the world and will host more than 20 performances by artists rooted in the United States, South Africa, India, Canada, England, Australia, Spain, Croatia, and Norway.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts incorporates seven distinctive performance spaces—both indoor and outdoor, both formal and informal—that make it uniquely suited to showcase the festival’s impressive range. This year’s incarnation of ELLNORA incorporates 11 individually ticketed events, along with 11 free shows (including concerts by Del Castillo, Buke and Gase, Gyan Riley, and El Ten Eleven) and even more events still being planned.

For 2013, ELLNORA will once again feature an artist-in-residence. Austin-based Dobro/steel master and three-time festival alum Cindy Cashdollar will lend her imaginative virtuosity to collaborations with Dan Zanes and Friends, Kevin Breit’s Sisters Euclid, The Lee Boys, and others throughout the three-day guitar celebration. Luther Dickinson, the 2011 artist-in-residence and one of Rolling Stone’s “New Guitar Gods” will also be back—this time with a musical configuration that joins Delta traditions with an eclectic set list and the all-female ensemble The Wandering. Speaking of Rolling Stone favorites, bluesman and consummate entertainer Buddy Guy, number 23 on its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, also returns.

True to the festival’s international nature, ELLNORA 2013 includes sets from Norseman Andreas Aase on a guitar-bouzouki hybrid, South African Derek Gripper who plays Malian kora music with influences from four continents on a nylon-string classical guitar, Andalusian flamenco ambassador Paco Peña, Hindustani slide guitar master Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, and French-born impressionist/gypsy jazz composer Stephane Wrembel. And ELLNORA welcomes Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Jonny Lang, Del Castillo, John Scofield, El Ten Eleven, Dweezil Zappa, and many other American musicians.

ELLNORA, which bears the name of its venue’s visionary founder, Ellnora Krannert, also provides a vital showcase for some of today’s most prominent female artists. In addition to Cindy Cashdollar and the women of The Wandering, female artists for 2013 include the intense and multifaceted Kaki King, the classically trained Ana Vidovic, the peerless jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey, and the raw and gutsy country rocker Lucinda Williams.

Originally known as the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival before being rechristened ELLNORA in 2009, the event is organized by Krannert Center’s director, Mike Ross, and his staff in collaboration with curator and artistic advisor David Spelman, who is also founder/artistic director of the world-renowned New York Guitar Festival. In the years since its debut, ELLNORA has served as a model for other events in the United States and around the world.

Performance Details:

Opening Night Party
Fiona Boyes Trio
Stephane Wremble and His Band
The Lee Boys
Sam Bush/Del McCoury Duo
Jonny Lang
Thursday, September 5, 2013, at 6pm
The Opening Night Party kicks off ELLNORA 2013 with Fiona Boyes and soulful blues. Stephane Wrembel and His Band regale with a jazz blend for two sets in the Amphitheatre. Audiences indoors can get up and dance to sacred steel tunes from The Lee Boys, and then Del McCoury will meld with Sam Bush for jamming bluegrass. The howling vocals of Jonny Lang close the night.
Lobby (Stage 5 and Stage 6), Amphitheatre, and Southeast Terrace; a free ticket is required for anyone 5 and under; tickets for those 6 and up are just $5

Andreas Aase/Derek Gripper
Friday, September 9, 2013, at noon
Andreas Aase nimbly manipulates the bouzouki to weave traditional Scandinavian and Norwegian tunes with atmosphere-inducing electronic sampling techniques. Derek Gripper calls on his own South African roots with virtuosic melodies and hints of European, Indian, and Brazilian influences in his kora music.
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

Keynote: A Conversation with Paco Peña
Jason Vieaux, interviewer
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 3pm
In this keynote event, classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will interview flamenco guitarist Paco Peña. The duo will cover Peña’s life and approach to performance, his Andalusian heritage and explorations of flamenco as a cultural expression, and the importance of mentorship. Foellinger Great Hall; free (donations welcome)

Luther Dickinson & The Wandering
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 4pm
Luther Dickinson, bassist Amy Lavere, drummer Sharde Thomas, and guitarist/vocalist Shannon McNally combine the best of Delta musicianship with an unconventional set list of traditional and contemporary numbers ranging from tunes by Kris Kristofferson, The Byrds, and Howlin’ Wolf to gospel music.
Amphitheatre; free (donations welcome)

Del Castillo
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 5pm
OUTSIDE at the Research Park vets Rick and Mark del Castillo earned an astonishing 18 awards for their Latin-flavored and rock-fueled debut CD. Expect an evening of incomparable energy, driving flamenco beats, and a good dose of Latin blues on dueling Gibson guitars.
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

J. Spaceman
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 6:15pm
J. Spaceman has fronted the rapturous British indie rock band Spiritualized for over 20 years and has collaborated with Dr. John, Primal Scream, and Yoko Ono. Through these travels, he has arrived at an artistic junction of underground rock, passionate musical imagery, and reflective melancholy.
Foellinger Great Hall; $10-$40

The John Scofield Überjam Band featuring Andy Hess, Avi Bortnick, and Tony Mason
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 7:30pm
The modern jazz-rock master John Scofield earned his wings with bandleaders such as Chet Baker, Gary Burton, and Miles Davis in the 1970s and 1980s and has been flying ever since. He brings to ELLNORA the jam of all jams, reuniting his legendary Überjam Band to revel in a smart, gritty fusion.
Colwell Playhouse; $10-$48

Buddy Guy
Friday, September 6, 2013, at 9pm
No stage can contain this legendary Louisiana-born bluesman who journeyed north to help define the electrified Chicago blues sound. At 77, the mischievous and flamboyant Rock and Roll Hall of Famer draws fans worldwide with his outrageous and crowd-roaming solos, fierce fretwork, and frenetic licks.
Tryon Festival Theatre; $10-$48

Buke and Gase
Friday, September 6, 2013, at about 10:45pm (immediately following Buddy Guy)
Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez take their unusual moniker from two self-made instruments: a baritone ukulele and an alternately guitar- and bass-stringed “gase.” The duo surges with revolutionary chamber punk, grungy grooves, and seething lyricism to create a hyperkinetic new musical experience.
Sonic Garden; free (donations welcome)

El Ten Eleven
Friday, September 6, 2013, at about 10:45pm (immediately following Buddy Guy)
The looped effects of drummer Tim Fogarty’s pedals are the only augmentation needed for Kristian Dunn’s doubleneck guitar/bass instrumentation. This power duo’s resume includes extensive touring, television soundtracks, a Lexus commercial, and original music for Gary Hustwit’s design documentaries.
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

Dan Zanes and Friends
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 10am
ELLNORA audiences treasure the exuberant sounds of Grammy Award-winning, four-time guitar festival alum Dan Zanes. Rootsy Americana tunes mix beautifully with West Indian folk inflections, Latin rhythms, and dance party grooves whenever Zanes takes the stage with his merry band of musical friends.
Tryon Festival Theatre; $5-$15

Morning Raga: Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
Subhasis Bhattacharya, tabla
Anandi Bhattacharya, vocals
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 10am
When Hindustani slide guitar master and instrument architect Debashish Bhattacharya plays his chaturangi and anandi, he represents the legacy and future of Indian slide traditions. With his brother Subhasis and daughter Anandi, Debashish builds mesmerizing, groundbreaking raga improvisations.
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

Ana Vidovic & Jason Vieaux
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 11am
Jason Vieaux’s accomplishments since his 1998 Sunday Salon Series performance at Krannert Center have marked him as a leader in his generation. From training with Manuel Barrueco to global touring, Ana Vidovic has emerged as a skillful player with stylistic sensitivity, exceptional technique, and a soulful demeanor.
Foellinger Great Hall; $10-$38

Paco Peña
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 1pm
Viewed by many as the best player in the world, Paco Peña embodies authenticity and innovation in flamenco. He continues to communicate the spirit of the art form through his dazzling performances and cultivation of flamenco as a musical style and a social and cultural component of Spanish heritage.
Tryon Festival Theatre; $10-$38

Dan Zanes: Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr.
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 2:30pm
Almost 50 years after Buster Keaton’s death, his films still rank in “best of” polls. ELLNORA fan favorite Dan Zanes has created a musical voice for the 1928 Keaton film Steamboat Bill Jr., heightening the tale of love between a steamboat captain and the daughter of his father’s business rival.
Colwell Playhouse; $5-$12

Don Ross/Kaki King
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 4pm
Guitarist, composer, and two-time US National Fingerstyle Guitar champion Don Ross grew up on a diverse musical diet, eventually finding his own voice on six strings. Guitar festival alum Kaki King was named one of Rolling Stone’s “New Guitar Gods” and has played with Foo Fighters and Timbaland.
Foellinger Great Hall; $10-$38

The Hendrix Electric Ladyland Project featuring Sheryl Bailey and Vic Juris
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 5:30pm
The rock of guitar god Jimi Hendrix makes a rendezvous with jazz in this supercharged showcase. Sheryl Bailey, whose burning jazz work captivated ELLNORA crowds in 2011, joins forces with Vic Juris, Lincoln Goines, and Tommy Campbell for inspired interpretations on the astounding Hendrix continuum.
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

Gyan Riley
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 6:30pm
Gyan Riley received the first full scholarship in guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory thanks to his uncanny ear and diverse musical palette. Collaborations with Zakir Hussain, Dawn Upshaw, and the San Francisco Symphony earned him a reputation as a fresh voice in classical guitar.
Sonic Garden; free (donations welcome)

Zappa Plays Zappa
Roxy & Elsewhere 40th Anniversary Tour
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 7:30pm
In this family-sanctioned tribute to Frank Zappa, the iconoclast and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who died in 1993, his son Dweezil Zappa and an acclaimed band take on all tracks from the classic Roxy & Elsewhere to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
Colwell Playhouse; $10-$35

Lucinda Williams
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 9:30pm
In 2002, Time Magazine named this multiple Grammy Award-winning six-string siren “America’s best songwriter.” Performing since age 17 and possessing an astonishing recording career, Williams slides from bruised defiance to bold survival in her personal and raw blues/rock/country compositions.
Tryon Festival Theatre; $10-$48

Evening Raga: Debashish Bhattacharya
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at about 11pm (immediately following Lucinda Williams)
The Hindustani slide guitar master returns for a soulful late-night session in the Sonic Garden.
Sonic Garden; free (donations welcome)

Kevin Breit’s Sisters Euclid
Saturday, September 7, 2013, at about 11pm (immediately following Lucinda Williams)
Grammy Award-winning Kevin Breit has brought down the house with his guitar pyrotechnics at three Krannert Center guitar festivals. With boundless imagination and matchless energy, Breit and Sisters Euclid will tear up Stage 5 as we close out festival number five!
Stage 5; free (donations welcome)

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