Tag Archives: blues

A wonderful experience with Music and Art

Jake Xiao

FAA 110, a course that exploring Arts and Creativity, is my favorite course from the fall semester. Students in this class can go watch many performances and exhibitions. We had wonderful experiences during the time outside the class when watching the performance also inside the course doing the activity.

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The Collision of Soul and Passion

Written by Nicole Miao

For me, jazz was a very abstract concept because I had only heard some blues music but never seen any jazz performances, nor had I had the opportunity to learn more about jazz. As a result, I was greatly curious about the performance when I attended KCPA.

Introduction of the Jazz Ensemble
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UI Jazz Band (Make Up Event)

Jake Xiao

Before the performance

Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Personally, saxophone would be prominent in Jazz, in which it is a principal vehicle for melodic improvisation. The reason is that saxophone has a great flexibility, blending well with both brasses and woodwinds. Also, it can use in Jazz Band brought changes in mouthpiece design to produce a brighter, more penetrating sound. UI Jazz band from the Big Band era illustrated the benefit of using saxophone as a prominent instrument on November 10th.

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Wynton Marsalis and His ensemble

Jake Xiao

Before the Performance

Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Modern Jazz player, Wynton Marsalis, and his remarkable ensemble are one of the top Jazz band.

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Buddy Guy at the Tryon Festival Centre

His charisma made everyone at the Ellnora Guitar Festival cheery!

Written by Cesar Diaz Blanco

Entrance to the theatre

Saturday night. This time of the week, usually accompanied by a craving for celebration, was in my case accompanied by cough, congestion, and more symptoms from the flu.

Fortunately, Buddy Guy was there to save me, and I didn’t even know about him before going to the Krannert Center. I entered the lounge and immediately perceived the spirit of the Ellnora Guitar Festival. After getting my ticket I made a quick search on Buddy Guy and expected a non-stop show with extraordinary guitar solos.

Buddy Guy returns to the scenario after interacting with the audience

Somehow, the show was more than that. The experience and control that Buddy has over his guitar completely shadows any other performance I have seen.

The show was more than music. It constantly became a theatrical scene in which Buddy gave life to his guitar and battled with it in every possible way: he would poke it with a drum stick or even scrub the strings against his suit.

He would then turn our attention from the guitar to the piano and finally to the pianist, whose hands went from the left to right in seemingly random ways that enriched the melody.

When all this wildness didn’t work to captivate the audience, the show would become a comedy skit with a nicely performed percussion in the back.

End of his awesome performance

This show challenged what I knew about music performances and I am so glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it.

I can’t wait for the upcoming events and visits to museums.

Buddy Guy Brings Back the Blues

Legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy wows the crowd at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Written by Danielle Herrera

Stage and auditorium before the start of the performance

On September 7th, 2019 I had the opportunity to attend the performance of Buddy Guy, I man who (after a quick google search) I learned was a famous blues artist. I’ve never listened to any of Guy’s albums or songs, but I’ve always loved live performances so I was excited regardless. Little did I know, this performance would open me up to new perspectives of music.

First off, let me just start by saying that I am a huge R&B fan. I love the emotional aspect of music and listening to beats that amplify the mood of the song, whether it be pain, lust, or joy. As expected, Buddy Guy’s musicianship was extremely impressive and the overall instrumentals of his songs were catchy and upbeat. However, the aspect that really threw me off guard was his singing. Buddy Guy’s voice has a raspy, deep sound that is both nostalgic and unique to now. You can physically hear the amount of wisdom and experience this man has just through his vocals, making it perfect for the historic genre of blues.

Although Buddy Guy is a renown singer and musician, he made sure that the spotlight was not always on him; lengthy showcases of the guitarist’s runs or the pianist’s swift improvisations shined a light on the rest of the instrumentalists’ insane talent. I personally was in awe of Buddy Guy’s pianist; having played in a number of different concerts and performances, I know how difficult it can be to improvise blues/jazz on the spot in front of such a large group of people.

Instrumentalists and Buddy Guy performing onstage

In addition, there were a number of quirky acts performed by Buddy Guy that showcased not only his sense of humor, but also his skills as a musician. At some points Guy would be playing the guitar by hitting it against his chest, or by smacking it with a towel. Either way, these moments kept the audience lighthearted and waiting for more.

The greatest aspect of this performance, I think, is the way Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd. Like other artists, he encouraged audience members to sing along with his more famous songs in a call-and-response manner. However, he also did something that I’ve never seen before: mid-concert, Buddy Guy calls for the auditorium lights to turn onto the audience. In that sense, Guy forcibly moves the attention from him to us. This was something I’ve never seen before, and it made me feel like it was our turn now to perform. Buddy guy then proceeded to walk into the audience, singing and interacting with all of us. This act provided a sense of togetherness that I have never felt before when attending a performance; it was like we were all finally on the same level, just enjoying the song and rhythm. Audience members were dancing and singing, and almost everyone was on their feet. It was a scene that could never be replicated exactly the same ever again.

Buddy Guy interacting and walking amongst the audience

Overall, Buddy Guy’s performance is something that in my mind could never be replicated ever again. The musicality, emotion and sound were one of a kind, and if I had the chance I would for sure relive the experience once again.

For more information on Buddy Guy’s performance, follow the link below: https://krannertcenter.com/events/buddy-guy

Buddy Guy and his Guitar Festival

An interesting “family meeting” with music

Written by Jake Xiao

Buddy Guy’s place

Buddy Guy, an American blues guitarist and singer, gave me an interesting show on Saturday night at 8:00. If you think this is only a normal blues guitar festival, you are wrong. He is the special one. Before the beginning of the show, lots of people are already seated, and everyone was talking about him how good he can play and how funny is this guy during the show. Since this is my first time to watch his festival, I paid all my attention to his guitar festival. When I finish watching the show, I find out that everything online about him is true. He is special.

The show is about to start

At the beginning of the show, He played a blues song to evoke the audiences’ interest and to catch their attention. After that, He did Improvisation and this is my favorite part of this show. He started a song normally, a minute later, he changed. He started to play his guitar by arm, wrist. Lastly, he flips over his guitar and play it by his clothes, and it works, it sounds good. And I think this is music, and I think that is what he wants to tell us. Music is not an objective thing, everything can be music, there are infinitely melody in the world.

Buddy Guy’s “Weapon”

Near the end of the show, Buddy Guy did a thing that let me fill this is not a guitar festival, but more like a family meeting. He was playing a song, and during the song, he walked to the audience and played with the audience and when the song is about to finish, he walked back to the stage. In that specific period, everything became one. I think it is similar to a family meeting, a payer is playing a guitar and singing, other family members are sitting around him. There are 0 gap between the player and the audiences. Music made us become one thing.

Experiencing Living History

 Buddy Guy Live at the Ellnora Guitar Festival

by Allison Spillane

an eager crowd waiting for Buddy’s performance

 I was truly excited when arriving at Krannert for Buddy Guy’s performance. His name alone carries a lot of weight. My father was particularly excited when I told him about the event, hyping up this show as a rare experience to see a musical legend play live. The entirety of Krannert Center was buzzing as we awaited the main show.

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Buddy Guy at Krannert

Written by Ashleigh Cox

The neon sign of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts logo

Have you ever been to a show and felt anonymous in the crowd? Well, that’s how it began on September 7th. The lights in Tryon Festival Theater were focused on the stage as we awaited the performer of the night: Buddy Guy. I had never heard of him prior to this show and I did not know what to expect.

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Buddy Guy Performs at UIUC!

By Rachel Yao

Buddy Guy performs live at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the Tryon Festival Theatre (located inside the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on September 7th, 2019.

Buddy Guy tickets inside Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

For the first event of the semester, I had the chance to see Buddy Guy perform live. When I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby, I saw numerous people waiting outside. As I entered the theatre, I saw more and more people pouring in to get seated. I sat on the balcony, which provided a nice view of the entire stage, Buddy Guy, and the background musicians.

The people waiting in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby
A clear view from my seat on the balcony before the performance.

My first time seeing Buddy Guy was quite an emotional experience. Throughout the concert, I felt a mix of astonishment and joyfulness. One moment that left me amazed was when Buddy Guy used various objects (drumsticks, towel) to play his guitar. Buddy Guy put his guitar on a speaker to let the vibrations create sound. Then, he laid a towel across the fingerboard, and proceeded to use a drumstick to pluck the strings. I have never seen this unique technique before! In addition, I was also amazed by the switch between smooth and up-beat rhythms, and soft and loud singing. This dynamic made each song performed very engaging and interesting to listen to.

Another unforgettable moment that left me astonished was when Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd by walking off stage and into the audience. At first, Buddy Guy was singing at the center of the stage. Then, on the left side of the stage, several backstage crew members exited through the side curtains and lined up next to the stairs that lead offstage. After they turned on their flashlight and shown the light onto the stairs, Buddy Guy proceeded to walk into the audience. As he began walking, people quickly starting standing up, frantically grabbing their phones to film Buddy Guy. The audience on the balcony were all leaning on the edge of their seat, hoping to get a glimpse of Buddy Guy. I, unfortunately, did not get to see Buddy Guy in the audience; however, I did listen to his singing as it grew louder and louder as he got further and further into the crowd.

Overall, I really enjoyed Buddy Guy’s performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Though I am not that big of a fan of blues music, I still appreciated each song Buddy Guy performed.

For more info : https://krannertcenter.com/events/buddy-guy