The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents
Written by Edward Huang
On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.
Chris Botti performed a series of Jazz with his band at Night in Krannert Center.
Wai Chuen Chan 9/17/2019
On September 14, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras, performed a series of Jazz music including Botti’s album with diverse musical instruments at Tryon Festival Theatre in Krannert Center.
Legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy wows the crowd at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Written by Danielle Herrera
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.
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.
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.
An introductory experience to UIUC’s beloved performing arts center via the Ellnora Festival.
Extra Credit by Allison Spillane
I was very excited to be invited by my FAA 110 professors to this event. To get a lay of such a wonderful performance venue brimming with passion is always a fun experience. The turnout for the opening of the Guitar Fest truly shows how many people out there truly support the arts!
September 6th, 2019 – my 18th birthday- I went to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Pat Metheny Side-Eye featuring James Francies and Marcus Gilmore. I have never been very particularly fond of Jazz music. I do have a soft spot for the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong though. On a slow Saturday morning, there is a good chance I am listening to them or Nina Simone whose music has been extremely impactful to my life. Their music has an important place in my heart and in my growth as a musician. On this particular evening, I did not feel any impact, I thought Metheny’s performance was okay. I went in expecting something interesting and new and I left with… well…. a side-eye. I just expected more and wanted more. I feel like all of the songs he played did not leave me satisfied as I feel music is suppose to. The performance was not really a performance and he did not really engage the audience. I was not expecting him to sing or to have rave-like flashing lights. I expected a professional performance and I feel it was more professional than performance.
When I walked into Krannert Center with my friend we were both in shock. The place was full, there was a lot of people of all ages going to see the show, and for some reason to me this scene reminded me a a music festival I used to go when I was in high school. Of course it wasn’t nearly as fancy as this performance but being within a big crowd like that, and seeing people have a good time really reminded me of how happy I was when I went to the festival. This made me really excited for the performance even if I didn’t know who Buddy Guy was in that moment.
My ticket to see the performance.
So right from the start of the show you can tell that it was going to be a very fun experience. The entire time people were swaying to the music, humming, or singing along; and buddy guy kept interacting with the audience. He would tell us stories, he walked out into the crowd and everyone got up and leaned forward to see him, he did call and response, and at one point in the show he turned the lights on and practically involved us in the show. It was truly amazing how this man that didn’t know anything about us, was able to connect with the audience.
Then Buddy Guy made the show very emotional by telling us about his childhood, and how it was very different from us now, and he sang a song that was very moving to me called “Skin Deep”. He had everyone emotionally invested in the show because people where listening to his stories and responding to them. He used his experiences to educate the audience on what it was like to be a blues musician – or any kind of person – during the time of his youth, and it was just amazing how far he has come and how he still manages to be a blues performer at 83. This man is very inspirational and living his best life at 83.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.