June 16, 2008

‘Klassics for Kids’ coming to Shawnee college

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Klassics for Kids, part of the Southern Illinois Music Festival, headquartered at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, comes to the Atrium at Shawnee Community College at noon on June 25 with a free jazz performance for children.

Mel Goot, jazz pianist and area legend, presents Jive with Jazz, a musical program for children ages 3 to 12. Goot is a San Diego native initially self-taught on the piano. He landed his first professional musical job as a teenager. Goot later attended San Diego State University, where he was top pianist with the university’s Jazz Ensemble. 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. Recently, Goot re-joined the SIUC based New Arts Jazztet. He was a member from 1995 until 2006 previously.

The Festival is one of the largest of its kind in Illinois. Highlights include performances of Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville” at the Sesser Opera House and at Shryock Auditorium on the SIUC campus; chamber and orchestral music on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail; the Festival Orchestra performing a patriotic music concert on the infield at Rent One Park, home to the Frontier League baseball team, the Southern Illinois Miners; free performances in Cairo; and ballet performances at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center and Shryock Auditorium.

For a complete schedule of the 50-plus events, visit www.sifest.com.

Festival 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.