folk

Born into a small Midwestern existence, grew into a certain presumptive bravado and reluctant utopianism. Embracing oddities from everywhere, humbuggery and legerdemain, and an aesthetic of the operational. Learning that things do not have to add up in order to count.

Primarily known for her vocals (jazz-spiked folk and avant garde/noise) and songwriting (dubbed "soulful indie rock"), elizaBeth also specializes in collaborative projects for adults and children. Her other key areas of expertise include storytelling and printmaking (stencils, silkscreens, blockprints)

{ folk, other }

For 20 years now, songwriter Paul Kotheimer has been calling Urbana, Illinois, his home. He's been writing his weird songs and recording them in Urbana, mostly in his little home recording studio. He's been performing for small crowds, again mostly in Urbana. He's been making CDs and distributing them as a hand-made record label, called--cleverly enough--the hand-made record label. The hand-made record label, too, is based in Urbana. From time to time, Kotheimer will get super-organized and make a trip to the big city, Champaign, or the big BIG city, Chicago, for a career-enhancing public performance. For the most part, though, Urbana is the place you'll find him, and that's pretty much what you'd expect from one of the best songwriters you've never heard of.

The Yellowjacket Stringband is from Urbana Illinois and includes Kate Fritz on fiddle and banjo, Claire Johnson on fiddle, and Tom Turino on guitar, banjo, and accordion. Come hear what all the buzz is about and enjoy an eclectic mix of old-time, blues, Irish, and Cape Breton tunes!
Email us at yellowjacketstringband@gmail.com

The Yellow Jackets play regularly at C-U venues like Buvons, Chmapaign and Urbana libraries, and the Iron Post as well as for local and midwest regional contra dances.

Kate Fritz is a multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo, guitar) currently living in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Her music draws direct inspiration from living Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, and American old time music traditions.

She grew up in the roots music scene of the Bay Area under the auspices of the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers Club, directed by master fiddler Alasdair Fraser. As a teenager Kate went to Alasdair’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle school, where she was taught by Liz Carroll, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Martin Hayes, Steve Baughman and many others who continue to be great influences on her style. Kate got a degree from NYU’s Gallatin School in China studies, environmental policy and political philosophy. She lived cumulatively for two years in Asia, mostly in Kunming “city of eternal spring” in China’s sublime Yunnan Province. She travels annually as resident fiddler for the Gesundheit Institute’s humanitarian clown trip to Moscow and St Petersburg, Russia.

Upon moving to Champaign-Urbana, the Champaign County News Gazette dubbed Kate a “local fiddling sensation”, a moniker which has stuck like gum to the underside of a picnic table. In 2012 Kate gave performances at Mocktober Fest and Mercury Portal in Tucson, AZ, the Postock music festival in Wisconsin, and opened for super-star fiddle player April Verch at the CU Folk and Roots Festival.

In addition to playing solo, Kate plays regularly with the Yellow Jacket String Band. The group features Claire Johnson (5-string fiddle, vocals), Tom Turino (guitar, steel guitar, banjo, vocals, yodel) and Kate. YJSB started out playing for Midwest regional contra dances, and has recently broadened its repertoire for club shows that include Kate singing and playing finger style guitar in addition to playing 4 and 5 string fiddles and claw hammer banjo. YJSB made a debut Midwest contra tour in fall 2012 that included appearances in Urbana, Chicago, Indianapolis, Bloomington IN, and Cincinnati.

{ folk }

The Mugdock Pipers were founded in the 1960s by Mr. Jim Lynch, Urbana, to promote the art of the Highland Bagpipe in the Champaign-Urbana area. Members have been drawn from among UIUC students as well as from the wider community. Current members are from Champaign, Urbana, Villa Grove, and Oakland. The Mugdock Pipers are named after Mugdock Castle in Scotland.

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