Ellnora — The Guitar Festival

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Country and Region United StatesIllinois
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Urbana, Illinois USA
Festival Contact Information

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801-3788 USA
Phone: +01 217-333-6700
Fax: +01 217-244-0810
Email: bklee@illinois.edu

Festival Description

The festival offers a prestigious assortment of the globe’s greatest musicians who will gather for ELLNORA—The Guitar Festival, situated in the vibrant micro-urban setting of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The biennial event provides an unparalleled mixed-genre experience that features performances from many of today’s most distinguished music-makers in a diverse array already being emulated by other festivals.

The internationally recognized event, which in recent years has emerged as a favorite destination for musicians and true guitar fans from around the world, will feature more than 30 performers drawing from guitar traditions rooted in the US, England, Canada, China, Spain, and Mali.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, incorporates seven distinctive performance spaces uniquely suited to showcase the event’s impressive array of talent. This year’s festival incorporates nine individually ticketed events, along with twelve free shows and more events being planned.

Festival Dates September 5 - 7, 2013
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Lineup 2013:
  • Fiona Boyes
  • The Lee Boys
  • Del McCoury
  • Sam Bush
  • Jonny Lang
  • Andreas Aase/Derek Gripper
  • Luther Dickinson & The Wandering
  • Del Castillo
  • J. Spaceman
  • The John Scofield Überjam Band featuring Andy Hess, Avi Bortnick, and Tony Mason
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buke and Gase (Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez)
  • El Ten Eleven
  • Dan Zanes and Friends
  • Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
  • Ana Vidovic & Jason Vieaux
  • Paco Peña
  • Dan Zanes: Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr.
  • Don Ross/Kaki King
  • The Hendrix Electric Ladyland Project featuring Sheryl Bailey and Vic Juris
  • Gyan Riley
  • Zappa Plays Zappa
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
Special features 2013:
  • Krannert Coffeehouse
    • Intermezzo cafe at the north end of the Center’s Lobby will be transformed into a coffeehouse for this year’s festival. Guests can unwind and recharge with the Center’s signature coffee blends, Carnegie Deli cheesecake, and daily organic specials.
  • Outdoor Food Vendors
    • Local food vendors will offer everything from appetizers to full meals to desserts in a large tented area on the southeast terrace for the Opening Night Party.
  • Studio Store
    • The Studio Theatre, located at the north end of the Center, will become the official festival store, featuring merchandise, sponsor tables, special displays of unusual guitars, and meet-and-greets with artists.
  • Sonic Garden
    • Refresh in an outdoor, tented performance atmosphere on the southeast terrace of the Center. This newly reimagined space will resonate with a casual vibe for mingling, refueling, and experiencing experimental sounds
Highlighted programming 2013:
  • J. Spaceman, Friday, September 6 at 6:15pm, $10-$40
    • Jason Pierce aka J. Spaceman has fronted the rapturous British indie rock band Spiritualized for over 20 years. In 2006, his first solo album, Guitar Loops, arrived, and since then, his life has been filled to the brim with near-death experiences, parenthood, a soundtrack for the Harmony Korine flick Mister Lonely, and collaborations with Dr. John, Primal Scream, and Yoko Ono. Through these travels and with his new album Sweet Heart Sweet Light (dedicated to the late Jim Dickinson, father of fellow ELLNORA artist Luther Dickinson), J. Spaceman has arrived at an evolved artistic junction of underground rock roots, passionate musical imagery, and tender moments of reflective melancholy—all guaranteed new exaltation in Krannert Center’s world-renowned Foellinger Great Hall.
  • Buke and Gase, Friday, September 6, at 10:45pm, FREE
    • Buke and Gase, the Brooklyn-based Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, take that unusual moniker from two self-made instruments: a baritone ukulele crafted from a Volvo hood—the ”buke”—and an alternately guitar- and bass-stringed “gase.” With fans such as ELLNORA alums The National, Arone and Aron’s revolutionary chamber punk moves through grungy grooves and seething lyricism to create a hyperkinetic new musical experience.
  • El Ten Eleven, Friday, September 6, at 10:45pm, FREE
    • The looped effects of El Ten Eleven’s drummer Tim Fogarty are the only augmentation needed for Kristian Dunn’s virtuosic doubleneck guitar/bass instrumentation. In addition to almost eight solid years of touring and five studio albums, this power duo has added to its resume and fleshed out a fan base with television soundtracks, a Lexus commercial, and original scores and music for Gary Hustwit’s design documentary trilogy—Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized. Summoning an impressively layered sound without the aid of post-rock electronica laptops, El Ten Eleven delivers emotional hooks and flying bass lines in a wordless wave of sound.
  • Gyan Riley, Saturday, September 7 at 6:30pm, FREE
    • A raffle-won guitar and the musical pedigree of his composer/vocalist/pianist father Terry Riley may have started Gyan Riley off on the right path, but it was his uncanny ear and diverse musical palette that earned him the first full scholarship in guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory. Collaborations with Zakir Hussain, Dawn Upshaw, and the San Francisco Symphony and appearances at Carnegie Hall and London’s Barbican Theatre quickly followed, earning him a reputation as a fresh voice in classical guitar with “mind blowing chops” (Acoustic Guitar).


Other Sources:

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Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Calexico and Noveller Oliveiro, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival
    • Dance, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival, photo by Scott Mason
    • Hammocks, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival, photo by Matt Urban
    • Laser Entry, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival, photo by Matt Urban
    • SCI, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival, photo by Scott Mason
    • Sherwood Forest, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival, photo by Adam Zareczny
    • Frisell, Flood, and Oliveiro at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival
    • Noveller Oliveiro at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival
    • Zanes and Oliveiro, at Ellnora - The Guitar Festival
  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
    500 South Goodwin Avenue
    Urbana, IL 61801-3788 USA


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