URBANA, IL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The return of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' biennial guitar festival Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert arrives September 10-12, 2009. This newly renamed, three-day, round-the-clock guitar extravaganza will emerge with over 30 guitarists, scores of musical collaborators, innovative engagement events, 11 free performances, and global perspectives on all things guitar.
Propelled by the extraordinary success of the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival in 2005 and 2007, the 2009 festival promises an astonishing collection of genres and artists, the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a Guitar Hero gaming station, community engagement programs with Dan Zanes and Friends, and numerous opportunities to delve deeper into this truly international instrument through commentaries, discussions, and interactive workshops-all assembled by Krannert Center's director Mike Ross and his staff in collaboration with the festival's artistic advisor, David Spelman. Spelman, the founder/director of the New York Guitar Festival, also launched the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in South Australia in 2007 and has served as the artistic advisor for all three biennial Krannert Center festivals.
Plans to rename the festival, now dubbed Ellnora | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center, first began as the Center embarked on preparations for this third biennial event. The festivals in 2005 and 2007 had served as microcosms of the Center's strong commitment to diversity, quality, and distinctiveness in programming. In approaching its latest incarnation, the staff realized that the first party had grown into an internationally recognized arts event and were concerned that it might be confused with other endeavors that had "wall to wall" in their titles. The decision to change the name also rested on a desire to better reflect the festival's distinctiveness and the unique micro-urban setting of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. This examination ultimately led organizers back to the inception of the Center in the 1960s, when philanthropists Herman and Ellnora Krannert first envisioned the multifaceted facility that has become a leading university-based performing arts center. Key to that vision was Mrs. Krannert's captivating plan to utilize the central lobby as a crossroads for audiences, artists, academics, and community members to meet, mix, and mingle in celebration of the arts. Ellnora Krannert's exceptional foresight has continued to lead the Center in the more than 40 years since. It was with this lineage in mind that the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival was reborn as Ellnora-to honor the philosophy, philanthropy, and powerful leadership of the Center's first patron.
The 2009 artist roster includes Ani DiFranco, the Keb' Mo' Band, the Derek Trucks Band, Bill Frisell's Disfarmer Project, The National, Chicha Libre, Junior Brown, The Jerry Douglas Band, Dan Zanes & Friends, Alex de Grassi, the Leni Stern Quartet, the Frank Vignola Trio, the Brasil Guitar Duo, Debashish Bhattacharya, The Long Count, The Sisters Euclid, Nigel North, Paul Galbraith, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Erin McKeown & Natalia Zukerman, the Jake Hertzog Trio, Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo, the Laurie Morvan Band, and Luciana Souza & Romero Lubambo.
Regular updates will be posted at EllnoraGuitarFestival.com. Single tickets and festival passes go on sale July 16 at 10am. Festival passes include all eight events; passes must be purchased by August 2 for priority seating. Festival pass prices range from $80 for students to $192 for standard admission. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers