Smile Politely

The Overture: October 1-6

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in the Champaign-Urbana area (and the outskirts) each week. All of the information is as accurate as we can publish, but all shows and performances are subject to change at any time. Thank you for understanding.

Have a show you think we should know about? Email us at with the details.

Tuesday, October 1st

Traditional Jazz Orchestra

► Iron Post // cover // 5 p.m.

Jim Pryor

► Nando Milano // free // 6 p.m.

Dr. Shredd and the Heath Strings

► Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

Jazz at Boomerangs

► Boomerangs Bar and Grill // free // 7 p.m.

Ranges, TwoLeggedZoo, Staghorn

Rose Bowl Tavern // cover // 10 p.m.

This show is bound to be one of the most interesting this week. Touring band Ranges will be accompanied by local acts TwoLeggedZoo and Staghorn. If you are into the post-rock scene and sonic landscapes, this is going to be one great line-up.

Wednesday, October 2nd

Jupiter String Quartet – Quantam Rhapsodies (Encore Performance)

► Beckman Institute for Advanced Study and Technology // free // 5:30 p.m.

To help celebrate the Beckman Institute’s 30th anniversary, the Jupiter Quartet returns for an encore performance of Quantam Rhapsodies. This multi-media event will also feature narration from physicist Smitha Vishveshwara.

Photo from the Facebook event

Chip McNeil Group

► Iron Post // cover // 6 p.m.

Improvisers Exchange

Unit One (Allen Hall) // free // 7 p.m.

Ben Nickols Quintet

► Iron Post // cover // 7 p.m.

Wednesday Night Spotlight

► Blackbird // free // 9 p.m.

Jazz Jam

► Iron Post // free // 10 p.m.

Thursday, October 3rd

Coleman, Spencer, and Gray Trio (CU Jazz Fest)

► Stage 5, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // free // 5 p.m.

Looking for a way to kick off CU Jazz Fest, or perhaps a swanky place to have a cocktail and listen to some jazz? Head to Stage 5 at KCPA for this free event featuring the Coleman, Spencer, and Gray trio and start your weekend a night early.

Photo from the event page

Hobnob String Band (Music and Food Fridays)

► Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Time again to go on down to the Rose Bowl Tavern for their weekly happy hour. This event will feature local stringband staple, the Hobnob String Band. Bring your own dinner or enjoy food from The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant’s pop-up.

Lou DiBello

► Sidney Saloon // free // 6 p.m.

U of I Jazz Reading Orchestra 

► Iron Post // cover // 7 p.m.

Vandojam feat. Tom Walsh (CU Jazz Fest)

► Iron Post // cover // 9 p.m.

Shawn James

 The Castle Theatre // $12 // 8 p.m.

Bones Jugs

► Blackbird // free // 9 p.m.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to check out this double one-man-band, nows your shot. Bones Jugs, a project of Charlie Harris and Cody Jensen, is one of the most fun shows you will see. But make no mistake, their musical prowess takes no back seats to entertainment. 

Photo from the Facebook event.

Friday, October 4th

MPAL First Friday Player Piano “Concert”

► Music and Performing Arts Library // free // 12 p.m.

If you find yourself near campus on friday, swing on over to MPAL (located in the Music Building across from KCPA). Starting at 12 pm, the library will be holding a “concert” by their Steinway Duo-Art Reproducing Piano. This will be a cool opportunity to check out some music tech from the ye olde dayes.

Chip McNeil Group

► Blackbird // free // 5 p.m.

Hot Club of Urbana (CU Jazz Fest)

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Cover Charge // 6 p.m.

Joyce Manor, Stef Chura, Strange Ranger

► The Canopy Club // $20 advance/$25 day of show // 8 p.m.

Punk outfit Joyce Manor heads through as a part of PYGMALION’s ongoing series throughout the year outside of the event, which just finished up this past weekend. Joyce Manor is coming off of their latest release Million Dollars to Kill Me, and if you are looking for a highlight from their catelog, check out Cody from a few years back.

Photo by Dan Monick

Ross Cooper

► Pour Bros. Craft Taproom // Free // 8:30 p.m.

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Ross Cooper is touring his new album, I Rode the Wild Horses. Pour Bros. encourages you to bring your own food, especially if it’s from a locally owned restaurant, and enjoy Cooper’s intimate, narrative-driven songs.

Old Salt Union

The Castle Theatre // $10 // 8 p.m.

The Impalas

► Huber’s // cover // 8 p.m.

José Gobbo & Reginald Lewis Duo

► Crudo // free // 8 p.m.

Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow (CU Jazz Fest)

Iron Post // $8 // 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 5th 

Jazz + Paper Fusion (CU Jazz Fest)

► Fresh Press Paper Lab // $15 // 12 p.m.

Die Musikmeisters, The Polkaholics, Bolzen Beer Band

► Neil & Washington, Downtown Champaign // $5 // 4 p.m.

Jordan Kaye & Carl Johnson (CU Jazz Fest)

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Donations Encouraged // 6 p.m.

Almost “A” Quintet 

► Iron Post // Cover Charge // 6 p.m.

Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra – Firebird Suite, Carmina Burana

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // price varies // 7:30 p.m.

Sara McDonald’s NYChillharmonic (CU Jazz Fest)

► Allen Hall (Main Room) // free // 7:30 p.m. 

Painkiller Blues Band (at Fallin’ into Blues)

► Lincoln Square Mall // free // 7:30 p.m.

The Burning Hell, Morgan Orion & The Afterburners, Turner Cody

► Iron Post // $10 // 8 p.m.

Patrick N Swayze

Pour Bros. Craft Taproom // Free // 8:30 p.m.

Inland Calypso + Special Guests (CU Jazz Fest)

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Donations Encouraged // 9 p.m.

Dirt Monkey, Jantsen, SFAM

► The Canopy Club // $15 advance/$18 day of show // 9 p.m.

Sunday, October 6th

Jazz Brunch with Sara McDoland Duo (CU Jazz Fest)

► Neil St. Blues // $20 // 11 a.m.

Bones Jugs

► Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch // free // 12 p.m.

Library Series: Afro Caribbean Jazz Collective (CU Jazz Fest)

► Urbana Free Library // free // 2 p.m.

UI Black Chorus present Yet With a Steady Beat since 1619

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // $15 // 3 p.m.

Led by distinguished Professor of Music Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, the University of Illinois Black Chorus’s fall concert is a musical offering of “spirituals, recitations, hymns, anthems, traditional and contemporary gospel songs.” The performance will feature a special tribute to Legacy Artist, Minister Thomas Whitfield.

Photo and press release provided by the ensemble.

Mank & Sass

► Pour Bros Craft Taproom // free // 3 p.m.

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