June 10, 2010

Music festival returns to Cairo later this month

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Music Festival, hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Music, returns to Cairo with free performances for young and old alike.

All performances are free and all are set for the A. S. Stafford Memorial Library

June 24 is a jazzy day. Jive with Jazz, a program designed especially for younger listeners, kicks off at 4 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. that day, the New Arts Jazztet presents a free performance for adults.

New Arts Jazztet is the premier jazz group in Southern Illinois, and they are comfortable in the big cities of Chicago and Cincinnati (among others) where they have guested at some of the hottest jazz clubs in the Midwest. The group was part of the Chicago-based WTTW-Channel 11 special broadcast “Arts Across Illinois: Center Stage” in 2004. Now it is part of the Illinois Arts Council’s 2007-2009 Artstour Artist Roster.

New Arts Jazztet is SIUC School of Music faculty members Dick Kelley on saxophones, Bob Allison on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tim Pritchford on trombone, Phil Brown on bass and Ron Coulter on drums and percussion. Mel Goot on piano rounds out the membership.

June 30 sees a turn toward chamber music. The 4 p.m. program is Klassics for Kids, a program for the very youngest listeners. This performance features a brass trio. The 7:30 p.m. performance features the brass trio and also a wind quintet.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival is a multi-venue festival bringing classical and jazz music to the greater Southern Illinois and Metro East area. Edward M. Benyas, artistic director for the festival, said the festival, with its many free performances and sites, is part of the musical outreach of the School of Music.

For a complete schedule of all festival events and information about the artists, visit www.sifest.com.