Frank's Weekend Faves, Jan. 21, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, Jan. 21, 2018

Among the passings in 2017 that struck nearest and dearest to my heart, none leaves a bigger hole in the local cultural landscape than the late-great Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival in downtown Champaign. But never fear, all three of those big B's remain alive and well in C-U — especially the first one — thanks in no small part to two huge local institutions.

I'm referring, of course, to the Prairie Crossroads Blues Society and its star member and arguably biggest drawing card, the Kilborn Alley Blues Band. The society prides itself on keeping the blues flame burning in the Champaign-Urbana area with two jams a month — from 4 to 7 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month and from 7 to 10 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday — both at Pipa's Pub, 604 S. Country Fair Drive, C. A different host band typically plays the first set, then the stage opens up to all comers packing their own instruments. Mary Jo Curry will host the next jam at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 24, and Tony Young and the Bad Boyzz will host the next Sunday jam on Feb. 11.

The society also gets together for monthly meetings and Juke Joint shows by Kilborn Alley Blues Band at Po' Boys, 202 E. University Ave., U. Blues lovers can enjoy some good food, local craft brews and great blues music at the next PCBS meeting/Juke Joint show at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Kilborn Alley plays from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. But if you can't wait that long, you can catch Kilborn Alley from 8 to 11 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 26, at Jazz Up Front in Bloomington.

OK, if not blues, how about blue collar — as in some Illinois-grown Americana indie folk-rock? If that's more to your taste, this Saturday's show at the Rose Bowl should Grabb you.

Peoria singer-songwriter Jared Grabb will perform with Brett Conlin and Nick Ailes at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana. Grabb is currently out touring in support of his fourth solo album, "Masters."

We aim to please all musical tastes here. And if classical is more to your liking, we've got just the thing next weekend — a party at Krannert!

The University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra will present "Mozart's Birthday Celebration" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. This concert will feature UI voice professors Nathan Gunn and Yvonne Redman as well as all three piano faculty, professors Rochelle Sennet, William Heiles and Timothy Ehlen, in the rare Concerto No. 7 for Three Pianos. Also on the program is a preview of music from "Don Giovanni" (the Lyric Theatre performance, featuring Gunn, coming up on Feb. 22-25), but in an arrangement for wind octet conducted by the UI's director of bands, Stephen G. Peterson.

Have a question, suggestion or fave nomination for Frank? We'd love to hear from you. Please email it to fpieper@news-gazette.com.