June 06, 2008

Festival brings a variety of music to Herrin

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Music Festival comes to the Herrin Civic Center this summer with music for all ages.

A chamber concert starts off the Herrin events beginning at 2 p.m. on June 15. The concert features a Beethoven piano trio and a Prokofiev string quartet. A piano trio, by the way, does not refer to three pianos, but rather to a piano and two other instruments. Beethoven was influential in altering the form of the typical piano trio so that each of the three instruments contributed to the music rather than the piano always leading.

Jazz takes over beginning at 7:30 p.m. on June 18, when the New Arts Jazztet comes to Herrin. New Arts Jazztet features Tyler Kuebler on woodwinds and MIDI; Bob Allison, trumpet and flugelhorn; Tim Pitchford, trombone; Phil Brown, bass; and Ron Coulter, drums and percussion. All Jazztet members live a double life as SIUC music professors. New Arts Jazztet is known for its original works, though they maintain a deep repertoire of jazz classics. The group performs all over Southern Illinois and at hot jazz spots in other areas, including Chicago and Cincinnati.

Both the chamber concert and the jazz concert are $12 general admission and $5 for students of any age. To inquire about reserved tickets, call 618/942-6115.

Jive with Jazz, a free performance intended for young listeners ages 3 to 12 comes to the Herrin Civic Center at 10 a.m. on June 19. Mel Goot, jazz pianist and area legend, brings a jazz program that will introduce young listeners to the sounds of jazz. Goot is a San Diego native transplanted to Southern Illinois (where, incidentally, he now teaches Spanish at Murphysboro High School). He began as a self-taught musician, though he later studied at San Diego State University, where he was top pianist with the San Diego State University Jazz Ensemble. Goot remains a welcome presence at national jazz and musical festivals. He has shared the stage with the likes of Hollis Gentry, Carol Keye, Peter Sprague, Bobby Shew, Dave Valentin and, in a big band setting, behind Solomon Burke, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Allen. The SIUC-based New Arts Jazztet claimed him from 1995 until 2006. So, yes, parents, feel free to accompany your children -- or even your neighbor’s children -- to Jive with Jazz.

Here are details on the Herrin Civic Center events:

June 15

Chamber Concert -- Beethoven, Prokofiev, 2 p.m. at Herrin Civic Center, general admission, $12, students, $5.

June 18

New Arts Jazztet concert, 7:30 p.m. at Herrin Civic Center, general admission, $12, students, $5.

June 19

Jive with Jazz -- Mel Goot, 10 a.m. at Herrin Civic Center, free admission.

More information, a complete schedule of all Festival events and locations and any late changes are at www.SIFest.com.

Sponsors include: SIUC, Illinois Arts Council, The Southern Illinoisan newspaper, WSIL-TV Channel 3 ABC, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Peoples National Bank, Laborers’ Union International-Local 773, Southern Illinois Miners, the City of Marion, Mélange, the Harrison, Hastings, Moore-Corpora, Southern and Garwin Family Foundations, Drs. Hal and Susan Pearlman, Dr. Samuel Goldman, First Southern Bank, Crawford County Arts, Lebanon Fine Arts, BoundlessGallery.com, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Carbondale Community Arts, and the Southern Illinois Symphony Patrons Committee.