Studio visit appears first in print, on Sundays. On Oct. 9, in The News-Gazette, Studio Visit will feature Kathleen Everingham. Here, a visit with artist Chris Reyman of Champaign.
Q: When did you start playing the accordion?
A: Just a couple of years ago.
A: It's a family instrument. I had a grandfather who played it well. I played piano to start out, so I just kind of morphed into it when people started asking.
Q: Was your grandfather Italian, perchance?
A: No, Czech. He lives in Iowa, and there's kind of a Czech community there and some accordion playing going on over in that area.
Q: Are you in grad school here?
A: No, not any more. I just finished up.
Q: In what?
A: My doctoral is in jazz performance.
Q: Are you going to stay around here?
A: I don't know. We'll see what happens. If there's a reason to leave, I'll probably leave, but I guess I don't have one right now.
Q: You gig around town a lot. In what bands do you play?
A: I play in (a) band (with Dorothy Martirano and Armand Beaudoin). I play in a klezmer band called Don't Ask. I have my own trio. I do jazz pickup gigs here and there, and I play in bands out of town a lot, like a Latin jazz band in Springfield.
Q: Is that Craig Russo's?
Q: What did you think of your studies at the University of Illinois?
A: They were good. It was long. It took me awhile. It was great, definitely. I was doing mostly piano.
Q: Did you study with Chip Stephens?
A: Yeah, I did.
Q: Do you also teach piano?
A: Yes, lessons and group classes on piano and accordion at the Community Center for the Arts. I also teach at Millikin University in Decatur.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: That's where I'm from: Decatur.
Q: What kind of career would you like?
A: Kind of what I'm doing now. Playing and teaching. I do a lot of writing too. It would be nice to get handsomely rewarded for that. I think I'll probably end up doing more work in academe at some point, hopefully. I don't know how much accordion playing I'd do at a college.
Q: What kind of music do you write?
A: Anything, really. I did a lot of writing in jazz for a while. I've also done commercial work. I do whatever I can.
Q: By commercial work, do you mean ads?
A: Yes, some of that, and music that goes along with video. I did small-film scoring projects.
Q: How long have you been playing piano?
Q: How did you get started?
A: We had one in the house. Music was around in my family. I played a few instruments, and I gravitated toward that one.
Q: Are your parents musicians?
A: Yeah, my dad. He plays trumpet, and he's a professor also.
Q: At Millikin?
Q: What's his name?
A: Randy Reyman.
Q: How often do you play the accordion at the farmers' market in Urbana?
A: I do the Community Center for the Arts booth every week. Sometimes, I play here with the klezmer band. We usually try to be here every Saturday unless it's too hot. I think accordion is best outdoors. A little accordion goes a long way.
Actually, I just started an accordion class at the Community Center for the Arts. We're going to be playing in the Folk & Roots Festival on Nov. 5, a Saturday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Community Center for the Arts at the Independent Media Center in Urbana will have an open house, with free performances and workshops, from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 11.