Festival Picks (No Pun Intended)

While all of Wall To Wall is bound to rock, there are a handful of festival events you straight up cannot miss. Sure, big names such as Buddy Guy and Los Lobos will be in attendance, but so will plenty others. Whether you have festival passes or empty pocketbooks, Krannert Center has got you covered:

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
September 13 at 6 – 11p.m. and September 15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., on Goodwin Avenue in front of Krannert.

Stationed outside Krannert for the duration of the festival, the Lennon Bus provides students and the public with a hands-on encounter with instruments and audio and video production equipment. To all the aspiring musicians, songwriters, producers and broadcasters – do not miss your opportunity to experience this marvelous bus of technology. -MY

Afterglow: North Mississippi Allstars
September 14 around midnight in the Krannert Center Lobby

Enjoy blues-rock bands? How about jambands? Then check out this band. With their unique blend of the two genres, the Allstars have pleased ears all across the country, while picking up a few Grammy nominations along the way. Really, there are no excuses for missing out on these guys, especially since they are performing for the wonderful cost of free. -KH

Global Guitar: Rahim AlHaj, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pierre Bensusan
September 14 at 7pm at Foellinger Great Hall
$29/Student, $34/Public

Even after being exiled from his birthplace in Iraq and separated from his mentor Munir Bashir, Rahim AlHaj has perfected his talents on the oud – a 5,000 year old instrument from which all modern string instruments have spawned. Also playing is Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who promises to live up to the translation of his name – “world charmer” – with his 19-stringed beastly reworking of the Hawaiian guitar. The cherry on top of this evening is Pierre Bensusan – the jazzman’s jazzman – whose hands can stretch into positions that would make any gymnast blush. -MY

Wood, Steel, and Beyond: Kaki King, Tony McManus, and Alex de Grassi
September 15 at 5 p.m. at Krannert Center’s Tryon Theater
$27/Students, $32/Public

Kaki King’s talents on the instrumental acoustic guitar have already declared her a legend in the field. And yet, Kaki has blown the world away by escaping her niche and exploring the power dormant in the electric guitar and her own voice. If that is not enough, Tony McManus – declared “the finest guitarist Scotland has ever produced” – and Alex de Grassi, a guitarist bred by brilliant musicians, will stun you with acoustic collections that showcase a spectrum spanning from Celtic tradition to the beauty and beyond of jazz. -MY

Traffic Jam: Bob Brozman and Led Kaapana, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
September 14 at 5 p.m. in the Krannert Center Lobby

Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Go ahead – just say it. The name just sounds cool, and that means the music has to sound cool too, right? To prove that this theory is never wrong, guitar-legend Bob Brozman has teamed up with native Hawaiian Led Kaapana, who grew up playing the style, to share this unique sound with Wall to Wall attendees. Be sure to check out this distinctive facet of Hawaiian culture. I promise, your ears will thank you. -KH

Family Fun: Dan Zanes and Friends
September 15 at 10 a.m. at Krannert Center’s Colwell Playhouse
$15/Student, $20/Public

Kids have it good these days. We had Barney and other cheesy sing-a-longs while we were growing up, and they get awesome act like Dan Zanes. Boasting a style that will appeal to both kids and adults, Zanes and his friends aim to prove that dancing in the aisles is not just for middle-aged women at Journey concerts, but also for families. -KH

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