The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

CU Jazz Festival swings back for 9th year of performances, connecting jazz community

The Daily Illini Photo File

The Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival will return from Oct. 26-29 for its ninth year to showcase the talent of many different student and professional artists in the C-U jazz scene.

The festival began in 2015 as a meeting ground for the local jazz community.

Jennelle Orcherton is a musician and the co-founder of the CU Jazz Festival.

“Some musician friends and I saw the surprisingly active jazz community when we first moved here, and thought that this programming would be a great way to connect those different aspects of the jazz community,” Ocherton said.

Orcherton said the fest connects community members, touring acts and students.

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Student acts include “Conspiracy Deliracy” by bassist Andrew Binder, the Repertory Jazz Orchestra and members of Sixth Street Brass.

Orcherton said the performance venues were chosen so they are easily accessible by students — venues are either on campus or a quick trip off campus. Locations include the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana Free Library, Champaign Public Library and The Space.

The CU Jazz Festival is set to host a variety of events. A complete list of the schedule and locations can be found here.

Before the festival officially begins, a soft opening event will be held on Oct. 24. OLLI at Illinois will host a composer chat with bassist Binder about each composition on his new album “Conspiracy Deliracy.” 

The festival officially kicks off with a free performance on Oct. 26 at KCPA with the Crystal Rebone Quartet. Rebone is a bassist and returning Illinois alum. The quartet will play original work from the band members. 

Following the performance is the Vinyl & Vibes event, where patrons can listen to vinyls and talk to musicians. It will be held in the Glow by Lola studio in downtown Urbana.

“Improvisers Exchange” is a free event on Friday from 3-5 p.m. Multi-instrumentalist Okaidja Afroso and bass guitarist Emmanuel Tetteh will bring Ghanaian music into an improvisation session.

The festival will hold a feature show on Friday night called “A Night with Ella” featuring music by Ella Fitzgerald performed by vocalist Olivia Flanigan

The performance will be held at Copper Creek Church from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Flanigan is a vocal music teacher who focuses on improvisation and gender-affirming vocal lessons in the Chicago area. 

The Jon Irabagon Trio will play at the Krannert Art Museum from 2-3 p.m. Irabagon is a Filipino American tenor saxophonist from Chicago. Patrons will be able to view the art on display while listening to the performance. 

“(Irabagon’s) group is very collaborative … kind of like a kaleidoscope,” Orcherton said. “He has these great musicians that he really trusts and works well with and they make these beautiful moments and pieces together.”

The last day of the festival will kick off with the annual Sunday Jazz Brunch held at Seven Saints in downtown Champaign from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Included with ticket purchases is a performance accompanied by a meal from a jazz-themed menu. 

At the Urbana Free Library, musicians will play from the compositions of trombonist and Illinois alum Morgan Powell from 2-3 p.m.

At the Champaign Public Library, the Reginald Lewis Quartet will play from 3-4 p.m. Reginald Lewis is a saxophonist and the director of jazz studies at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The festival will end Sunday evening with a performance by Binder of his album “Conspiracy Deliracy” at The Space from 6-9 p.m.


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