Documenting, preserving and promoting the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois jazz scene

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August 2022 News

ChambanaJazz News: August 2022

It’s August, and we’re back with some news and updates after more or less taking the summer off.

Welcome back to all the students in the UIUC Jazz program! And if you’re new, we hope you start gigging regularly at the Rose Bowl and other venues.

If you didn’t know already, the weekly Jazz Jam session at the Rose Bowl moved to Wednesdays from 10p-midnight. Go there and hang out and meet other musicians and play!

The 2022 C-U Jazz Festival will be held October 27-30. Festival organizer Jenelle Orcherton is finalizing the artists and venues; we’ll have more info ASAP.

Guitarist Chris Hartley and saxophonist Kavi Naidu have both packed their bags and left C-U. We wish them both success and hope to see them down here soonly.

Jazz fusion group Space Port has a new sax player. Nathan Carmen has agreed to take over Kavi Naidu’s slot in the 7-piece ensemble. Look for Nathan’s debut with Space Port at the Rose Bowl on August 16.

Moving On Up: Congratulations to trumpeter JaKobe Henry, who has accepted a position as Adjunct Trumpet Professor at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Congrats are also in order for Benjamin Nichols, who is now Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah!

Guitarist Jose Gobbo and his ensemble The House Trio (with Ben Taylor on bass and Nikola Djokic on drums) has been gigging across the country. Check out Jose’s Facebook page for his tour dates and let your friends know when Jose is coming to their town.

Guitarist and C-U veteran Derick Cordoba received the test pressing of his upcoming LP “J& J.” He reports the recording should be released sometime in late October.

That's all we have for this month! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud; look for @ChambanaJazz on your favorite platform. Support your local musicians and clubs who give you jazz music. Got any jazz news, or just wanna say hello? Drop us a line here. See you in September!

May 2022 News

ChambanaJazz News: May 2022

ChambanaJazz was recently featured on a bonus episode of the Champaign Is Also A Band podcast. They interviewed founder Sean Kutzko, who talked about being converted to jazz from rock and roll, the famed C-U jazz club Nature’s Table, why it’s important to preserve jazz history in C-U and why he’s so obsessed with recording live music. Thanks to Sven at CIAAB; listen to the interview here or find it on Spotify or many other podcast platforms.

Several UIUC jazz students got a great treat when they joined bass superstar Christian McBride as part of the U of I Concert Jazz Band and the U of I Jazz Vocal Ensemble on a performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on May 1. The performance was part of the New Awakenings collaboration between the U of I School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, and Krannert Center to play McBride’s The Movement Revisited—A Musical Portrait of Four Icons, which pays tribute to Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr. through music and words. Students Zach Torf, Matthew Storie, Grace Calderon, Ian Loechel, Daven Hernandez, Kyle Hunt, Jerimiah St. John, Max Ando, Will Schmallbeck, Ryan Kazda, and Kyle Mesa were all part of the ensemble. Nathan Carman and Stefan Loest participated in rehearsals but did not play the performance. Watch video of a Q & A forum with McBride and band directors Chip McNeill and Barrington Coleman, courtesy of Jazz at Illinois. Read the Daily Illini review of the performance here. And finally, listen to an interview with McBride by Brian Moline of Illinois Newsroom here.

It happens every year in a university town… talented people graduate and leave. This year is no different… we are losing some great talent as the Spring 2022 semester comes to an end. Thanks to Jesus Fuentes, Andrew Binder, Andrew Danforth, Matthew Storie, Emma Taylor and Paul Mock for countless hours of great jazz. Best of luck to all of you in your career. We hope you’ll come back to C-U after you become rich and famous…well, famous, anyway! Andrew Binder's Conspiracy Deliracy is playing May 9 at the Rose Bowl at 5pm, and Emma Taylor is leading a quartet at the Rose Bowl Tavern on May 11 at 5pm; go see them and wish them well.

Three of those musicians were present at the Rose Bowl Tavern on April 26, as the Jesus Fuentes Quartet playing their final gig in town. With Jesus on piano, Matthew Storie on tenor sax, Andrew Binder on bass, and Frank Kurtz on drums, they played two sets of incendiary jazz and made sure people would talk about their last gig together. Special guest Jeremiah St. John joined the band on trombone for the first set and contributed mighty solos through the first hour. It was a tremendous farewell to this great group. Listen to the set here.

Another part of the academic process are the recitals, of which there have been several in recent weeks. One that stands out is that of pianist Joy Yang. Her first Doctoral recital was held April 21 at Smith Music Hall. Her trio – which featured Mitchell Maftean on bass and John Sergel on drums – was dedicated to the life and memory of fellow keyboardist and UIUC School of Music DMA candidate Joshua Bell, who died unexpectedly in late 2021. Yang’s recital included five original pieces. The event was recorded and will be released soon. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram for the latest updates on the release date; search for @JoyYangMusic.

We lost two great C-U musicians in April: keyboardists Woody Woodward and Don Smith.

The younger brother of Lonnie Liston Smith, Don Smith grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended the University of Illinois in the early 1960s. He was part of the John Garvey band at the same time as the Bridgewater family. He also played with local legends Ron Dewar and Tony Zamora in the Tony Zamora Territorial Band in the mid-late 1960s. Smith went on to play and record with several major jazz figures including Art Blakey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Benny Carter, Archie Shepp, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie McLean and many others. He died in Riverdale, New York on April 9. He was 78. Read his obituary here.

Woody Woodward was born in Taylorville, Illinois in 1939. He was playing piano in public by age 16 and was in several jazz groups throughout central Illinois, including the widely popular C-U band Medicare 7, 8 or 9 in the 1970s and 1980s. in the early-mid 2000s he led the Woody Woodward Organ Trio, featuring several local musicians including saxophonist Randy Salman, drummer Gary Peyton and guitarist Erik Swanson, among others. He died in Bloomington, Illinois on April 10, aged 82. We’ll post a couple of Woody’s recordings in the near future. Read his obituary here.

Warmer weather is just around the corner, and that means the Rose Bowl tent will open this week! The City of Urbana renewed the agreement with the Rose Bowl to open the tent in the Urbana municipal parking lot just north of the Rose Bowl for 2022. Part of the agreement with the city is the Rose Bowl will police the lot to keep it free of litter and debris, and that outdoor shows will have a strict end time: 9pm Sunday -Thursday, and 10pm Friday and Saturday. PLEASE help the Rose Bowl staff comply with the city by disposing of your litter properly, and refrain from asking the performers to play “just one more.” All Rose Bowl staff and patrons are responsible for showing the city they made a good choice in granting the permit for the tent again in 2022; let's all do our part!

That's all we have for this month! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud; look for @ChambanaJazz on your favorite platform. Support your local musicians and clubs who give you jazz music. Got any jazz news, or just wanna say hello? Drop us a line here. See you in June!

March 2022 News

ChambanaJazz News: March 2022

Jose Gobbo song writing semifinalist: "Born Ready" by the House Trio

Guitarist Jose Gobbo's composition "Born Ready" reached the semifinals of the 2021 International Songwriting Competition. The piece is on the latest release of The House Trio, featuring Gobbo in collaboration with Ben Taylor on bass and Nikola Djokic on drums. The CD is online at most streaming services and also for sale at their shows.

"ISC has announced the 2021 semi-finalists. Click here to check the complete list. Semi-finalists are listed alphabetically by songwriter. Congratulations to all semi-finalists, and we look forward to announcing finalists in the next couple of weeks!"

The House Trio will be on tour in mid-March, with dates in Springfield (IL), Canton (OH), Pittsburgh, Chicago, St Louis, Nashville, and Cincinnati. They will also be at the Rose Bowl in Urbana on March 17. Complete info on the House Trio Facebook Page.

New Piano at the Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl Tavern has purchased a 2016 Yamaha U3 upright piano, which will grace the stage effective March 6. This replaces the previous piano, which was the same Mason & Hamlin piano used at Nature's Table restaurant and jazz club in Urbana in the 1980s. While the Table piano had a lot of sentimental value among older C-U jazz fans, the reality was it needed a lot of work, and getting a different piano was a wiser use of Rose Bowl resources. The Mason & Hamlin went out for one last gig at the Rose Bowl on March 2, with the Chip McNeill Quartet, with UIUC faculty member Joan Hickey doing the honors. Only fitting, since she cut her teeth on that piano at the Table in the early 1980s. Watch a video of the final song played on the Table piano here.

Chip Stephens CD release on March 25

Keyboardist and UIUC music faculty member Chip Stephens has been on he sidelines for the last couple of months with a broken finger. As a result, Kurt Reeder has been filling in on keys since January for Chip's regular Organ Trio gigs at the Rose Bowl on the last Friday of the month. Their CD Release party has been postponed for a couple of months, but we are finally glad to report the party will finally take place on Friday, March 25 at the Rose Bowl. The Trio -- which also features Jose Gobbo on guitar and Jay Ferguson on drums -- recorded the CD in 2019. It was released in November 2021.]

Kurt Reeder Taking a Break

C-U keyboardist Kurt Reeder has announced he will be taking a break from gigs for a while, to focus on finishing his DMA and spending more time with his young family. Reeder is in high demand due to his virtuosity and good attitude, and said he has "gotten stretched pretty thin" in recent months. He will continue to play select dates, albeit with much more limited regularity. He left the possibility of returning to playing more gigs open after this recess, depending on how the work-life balance works itself out.

Uptick in Vocal Jazz Performances

There has been a noticeable increase in vocal jazz performances recently. February saw gigs by UIUC seniors Citlalli Pino and Betsy Meyer, as well as veteran singer Nancy Livingston, who has transitioned from the Church Street Ramblers to leading her own quartet. The Rose Bowl is also regularly hosting the UIUC Vocal Jazz Spotlight nights, led by UIUC jazz faculty Barrington Coleman and Chip Stephens, featuring several student singers. Be sure to check out this great uptick in vocal jazz here in C-U.

March 2022 School of Music Jazz Recitals

Several recitals are coming up this month by UIUC jazz students. All recitals are free and open to the public.

March 4: William Schmalbeck: Jazz Trumpet Graduate Recital. 7:30pm, Smith Memorial Hall, Room 25.

March 6: Guitarist Paul Mock DMA Project Recital: The Music of Mary Halvorson. 8pm, Music Building Auditorium

March 10: Andrew Binder: Jazz Bass Recital. 7:30pm, Smith Memorial Hall, Room 25

March 22: Frankie Paredes: Jazz Drumset graduate recital. 5:30pm, Music Building auditorium

Match 26: Jesus Fuentes: Jazz Piano Project Recital. 7:30pm, Smith Memorial Hall, Room 25

March 27: Stefan Loest: Jazz Saxophone. 3:30pm, Smith Memorial Hall, Room 25

March 27: Sean Lane-Bortell: Jazz Trumpet Junior Recital. 3:30pm, Music Building Auditorium

March 28: Brian Stark: Final DMA Recital ""Finding Flamenco in Sketches of Spain: Conversations in Schizophonic Mimesis." 5:30pm, Rose Bowl Tavern. Featuring Jose Gobbo, Andrew Binder and Drew Cox.

The Complete calendar of School of Music recitals can be found at: Events | Music at Illinois

That's all we have for this month! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud; look for @ChambanaJazz on your favorite platform. Support your local musicians and clubs who give you jazz music. Got any jazz news, or just wanna say hello? Drop us a line here. See you in April!

February 2022 News

ChambanaJazz News: February 2022

We’ve lost another member and supporter of the C-U jazz community. Tom Singer left us on January 20th. When Tom wasn’t on stage, he could be found in the audience listening and enjoying a craft beer or two. Over the years, Tom played in many bands, including H, the Eighth Letter with Elise Henderson and the Parkland In Your Ear Big Band. For the past 15-20 years, his main outlet for performing was the band Weasel Dreams, which he co-led with the late Gary Peyton. After years of playing the trumpet and flugelhorn, Tom found the bass trumpet suited him best. Whether Tom was playing or hanging at Zorba’s, the Blind Pig (original flavor) or the Iron Post, you could always count on a kind word from Tom. He will be missed by many. (Thanks to Jeff Machota for help with this article)

Word from drummer Josh Quirk that Boomerang’s Bar and Grill has discontinued their Tuesday night jazz shows.

“We had a wonderful run but Jazz Tuesday at Boomerangs has ended,” Quirk posted on Facebook. “I want to thank Tom and Christy and Boomerangs for supporting jazz, and all live music in our community. Thank you to everyone who played and to everyone who came out to support jazz Tuesday. I can easily say that playing jazz with different people every week for the last four years has been an incredible education. I will continue to support live music at Boomerangs and anywhere else I can in our community. See you at the shows!” We wish Boomerang’s all the best!

Keyboardist and U of I jazz faculty member Chip Stephens broke a finger a couple weeks ago and has been unable to play. Kurt Reeder will be filling in for Chip until further notice in the Chip Stephens Organ Trio, with Jose Gobbo on guitar and Jay Ferguson on drums. They have a regular happy hour gig at the Rose Bowl on the last Friday of the month from 5-7pm.

@JazzAtIllinois reports they are hosting a fundraiser for the U of I Jazz program! Buy a t-shirt, sweatshirt of hoodie via their online funder and $4 of every purchase goes toward keeping jazz alive at the U of I. This fundraiser ends February 10, so act now! Get your U of I jazz swag here!

Looking for a glimpse into jazz life at Nature’s Table? Check out the portfolio of photos from Bill Entwistle taken at the famed C-U jazz club between 1979-1991. They’re available on the U of I Library Archives.

More U of I Jazz media! Check out this clip of the U of I Jazz band on local TV from May 1978, featuring John Garvey at the helm.

The Rose Bowl Tavern has been ramping up the number of livestreams of jazz lately, as they dial in their video hardware. The results so far have been quite impressive. Check out their livestreams on the Rose Bowl Facebook page. Miss a show? Don’t sweat… their entire library is on the Rose Bowl TV YouTube page.

We’ve added eight more audio recordings to the site this month. Be sure to check out the ChambanaJazz audio library on the Recordings section of the site. A particularly tasty addition was a gem of a recording of the Mike Kocour Organ Trio from 1993, live at Zorba’s, with Brian Wilkie on guitar and Danny Deckard on drums. This is goooooood stuff. By the way, please take a minute and add a review to the shows in the ChambanaJazz archive; you may help somebody else down the line check out a great show!

That’s all for this month! Go see live shows and support our scene and venues! The music is thriving, so go get some of it on ya.

We love new followers! Tell your friends about ChambanaJazz. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube by searching for @ChambanaJazz.

January 2022 News

ChambanaJazz News: January 2022

Happy New Year to all ChambanaJazz followers! It’s been great watching and recording so many jazz shows over the last few months. However, with the Omicron variant turning Illinois into a Covid surge area, we’ve started seeing some shows get cancelled, especially around New Year’s Eve. Let’s hope that we can keep seeing live jazz in C-U; if not, we’ll be posting recordings from past gigs here at as fast as possible.

Since ChambanaJazz started in September 2021, we’ve posted 21 recordings of local jazz, with dozens of other C-U shows in our archive going back as far as 1969. We’ll post them as we can, and continue to record current gigs and promote our scene to as many people as possible. If you’re looking for more local jazz, don’t forget about the archive of recordings at; between the Nature’s Table and ChambanaJazz websites, there are over forty recordings of local jazz you can listen to, spanning three decades.

Longtime C-U jazz aficionado and musician Bob Selby died on December 25. A licensed architect since 1970, Selby was a staple of the C-U jazz community for decades and was a regular jazz show host on WEFT-FM since 2013. There will be a jazz memorial for Selby later this year. Read Bob's obituary here.

The House Trio had their Album Release Party at the Rose Bowl Tavern on December 29. Jose Gobbo (guitar), Ben Taylor (bass) and Nikola Djokic (drums) played a few selections from their debut CD “Live From Home,” as well as several standards. We’ll have the recording posted sometime in early January. The House Trio is going on the road in January, including performances in Chicago and Nashville.

Speaking of The House Trio, we were lucky enough to get an interview with House Trio guitarist Jose Gobbo! Jose talks about growing up in Brazil, how he got started in music, finding his way to C-U, and his latest recording with The House Trio and his Patreon site. You can find the interview on the ChambanaJazz YouTube Channel.

Saxophonist and U of I alum Matt Olson has released a CD, Open Spaces, on OA2 Records. While the CD is slated for release on January 21, you can listen to a preview track here, courtesy of All About Jazz.

The Rose Bowl Tavern will be closed for the first week of January. Assuming Covid doesn’t shut everything down, live music at the Rose Bowl will resume on Friday, January 7, with the first jazz on January 11, featuring Chip McNeill and Friends from 5-7pm and the regular Tuesday Night Jazz Jam beginning at 9pm.

That’s all the new for January. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and YouTube.. .just search for ChambanaJazz on all those platforms. Tell your friends, too… the more, the merrier! As always ,if you have recordings of local jazz recorded in Champaign-Urbana you would be willing to share with us, please reach out; we’d love to add them to the collection

Have some jazz news? Let us know about it! You can email us here.

Stay safe, everyone.

December 2021 News

ChambanaJazz News: December 2021

Jim Knapp, former arranger for the U of I John Garvey bands of the 1960s, passed away in Kirkland, Washington on November 13. A brilliant trumpeter, arranger and major architect of the 1970’s Seattle jazz scene, he studied here at the University of Illinois beginning in the late 1950s. He appeared on WILL-TV in March 1960 on piano leading an octet that featured a young Ron Dewar, among others. After decades of arranging, touring and teaching, he wrote a book on theory, Jazz Harmony, in 2015.

Friend and fellow jazz authority Jim McNeely wrote on Facebook, “One of the times he’d come down to the [Village] Vanguard, I introduced him to another member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as: “This is Jim Knapp. He is the first mother****r I ever met”. And I meant that nasty word in the best possible way. Brilliant musician, great teacher, and a humble, sweet, generous man. Rest in peace, dear friend.

Read Jim’s obituary in the Seattle Times here.

Local saxophonist Reggie Lewis headed to Camden, New Jersey in late November to play a gig honoring his late grandfather Bootsie Barnes, who passed away in 2020 at age 82. Barnes was a major figure in the Philadelphia scene for nearly six decades. The gig featured several Philadelphia-area musicians including drummer Byron Landham. Read more about Bootsie Barnes here.

UIUC pianist Jesus Fuentes will be taking his quartet to Dallas in January to perform at the 13th annual Jazz Education Network Conference. The quartet also features Matthew Storie (saxophone), Andrew Binder (bass) and Max Osawa (drums). The Jazz Education Network was formed in 2009 to "… advance jazz education, promote performance, and develop new audiences," according to their website. UIUC alum Crystal Rebone will also be presenting at the conference. More information on the Jazz Education Network can be found here.

The House Trio will have a CD Release Party on December 29 at the Rose Bowl, in celebration of their first studio effort, “Live From Home.” The trio features Jose Gobbo (guitar), Ben Taylor (bass) and Nikola Djokic (drums). Showtime is 5-7pm. Follow The House Trio on Facebook here.

UIUC veteran drummer Andy Wheelock has a new CD out, called “View From Here.” His debut release as a band leader features Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Ernie Watts. View From Here is now available on his website as well as on most streaming platforms.

December will feature several holiday-themed jazz gigs:

Hot Club of Urbana’s Charlie Brown Christmas – Saturday December 18 4-6pm at the Rose Bowl

Kurt Reeder Presents: Christmas at the Movies – Sunday December 19 1-3pm at the Rose Bowl

Church St. Ramblers Holiday Singalong – Tuesday December 21 6:30-8:30pm at the Rose Bowl

Lastly, note that there will be no Tuesday Jazz Jam at the Rose Bowl on December 21, or on January 4, 2022.

Have some jazz news? Let us know about it! You can email us here.

Happy Holidays!

November 2021 News

EDIT: Right after we published this month's update, the news broke of the death of legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino, at age 77 after a long illness. Jeff Machota will have a tribute to Martino on his Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting program on November 10, live on WEFT 90.1 FM.

Here's a video of
George Benson, talking about his first encounter with Martino in 1969.


With colder weather looming, venues are shifting to indoor performances. If you’re going to go see live music, make sure you adhere to the venue policies regarding masking. Last winter was tough on music fans, so let's all do our part to not make the situation worse. While we hope this winter won’t be quite as severe, we still need to be careful; we’re not out of the COVID woods yet.

We’ve added fifteen recordings of jazz in Champaign-Urbana since October 1, both historical performances and recent gigs. Check these out on our Recordings page. Be sure to like and comment on the recordings we've posted; your review may help others listen to that show.

Veteran of the CU scene Scott Frillman will be back in town for a gig! Scott was the regular sax player for the legendary funk-jazz group Sorgum, which tore up the CU scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. Scott also toured for a time with Ray Charles. He’ll be joining Jeff Helgesen and Friends at the Rose Bowl Tavern on Friday, November 19 from 5-7 pm.

Minneapolis-based guitarist Zacc Harris will bring his sextet, the Zacc Harris Group, to the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, November 9 from 6:30-8:30pm. This is Zacc’s first visit to CU in nearly twenty years, and his first with this group. He’s on tour in support of the group’s second album, Small Wonders, out now on Shifting Paradigm Records. Listen to an interview we did with Zacc on our YouTube channel and be sure to catch their show at the Rose Bowl. Admission is $8.

Simply This Quintet held an album release party on October 16, as part of the CU Jazz Festival. They also paid a visit to South Carolina late in October, playing concerts and giving master classes to music students at Furman University in Greenville and Anderson University in Anderson. Matt Olson, director of Jazz Studies at Anderson, and Derick Cordoba, Director of the Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music at Anderson, helped make the trip possible. Simply This Quintet’s new recording is Stepping Out; find them on Bandcamp here and listen to Stepping Out on all major streaming platforms.

Speaking of the CU Jazz Festival, congratulations to Jenelle Orcherton for putting the festival together this year! There were lots of great performances the weekend of October 14-17, but the highlight may have been the return of the Iron Post Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece ensemble comprised of CU’s best talent. Thanks to COVID, they haven’t performed or rehearsed in over a year. It was a real treat to see a large band in person again. Look for more from them in 2022. Meanwhile, enjoy a recording of their CU Jazz Festival gig here, and a video clip of them performing CU trombonist Ben Carrasquillo’s piece “This Is A Test.”

Word from keyboardist Chip Stephens that he has a completed recording on a new album with his Organ Trio, which features Jose Gobbo on guitar and Jay Ferguson on drums. The album is now in post-production and will be available soon. Get a taste of the Chip Stephens Organ Trio in action with this recording of their set at the Rose Bowl on October 29, 2021.

Help spread ChambanaJazz around! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ChambanaJazz, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and tell your friends about us!

Got some jazz news, a vintage recording to share, or other comments? Drop us a line; we'd love to hear from you.

October 2021 News

Welcome to ChambanaJazz, a site dedicated to documenting the jazz scene here in C-U. I'm Sean Kutzko, the main guy behind the site. I'm a jazz fan, musician, live recording enthusiast and former jazz DJ back in the '90s at a couple stations in the Midwest, including WEFT 90.1.

I started this page to address a problem: when Jeff Machota and I started finding and preserving recordings made at Nature's Table, the celebrated C-U jazz club that existed from 1979-1991, we ended up with a lot of material that wasn't recorded at the Table. We sat on these recordings for several years, until I decided to create ChambanaJazz in September 2021. I also started recording jazz shows here in town when I returned in 2019, after being on the east coast for 15 years, because I love the music and because I didn't want the musicians in this thriving scene to be forgotten or overlooked. C-U has a slew of great music of all genres, and I want to make sure the community doesn't forget about jazz.

Listening to the recordings got me wondering about the countless musicians who played here over the decades, and that led me to wonder about the national acts that passed through town. My friend Paul Kotheimer, a fantastic singer-songwriter and information scientist/ history buff at the U of I, showed me how to use the Illinois newspaper archives, and down the rabbit hole I went. I started learning about the clubs in town, the local musicians, and how jazz was viewed by the student body and local community going back to the early 1900s. It's been fun seeing some of the big shows that rolled through town, and also seeing first references to some of the legendary local musicians that have been around for a long time. It's been exciting and humbling at the same time, and a tremendous amount of fun to start documenting all this history.

While pursuing local jazz history, I also want to post news about the current group of jazz musicians in town and make sure they get the attention they deserve.

We're starting to wind down with the current spate of outdoor shows, and it won't be long before we're all inside again. With Covid still very much a concern right now, there's still some uncertainty on how indoor shows are going to be handled. As of now, we'll be vaxxed and masked up enjoying music; that could change at any time, so we're not taking anything for granted these days.

The big news for October is the CU Jazz Festival, held October 14-17 at various venues in town. Visit the CU Jazzfest website for complete info, and go out and support the musicians that are playing for you. There's tons of talent on display this weekend (and indeed every week), so come enjoy the music.

Thanks for reading. See you next month!