Ellnora, the Guitar Festival, Unveils 2013 Artist Lineup

Posted on June 12, 2013

An impressive—and diverse—array of distinctive and influential guitarists, including recent Acoustic Guitar cover star Kaki King, will gather September 5-7 at ELLNORA, the Guitar Festival, presented by the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The biennial event provides a mixed-genre experience and features performances by world-class artists from the United States, South Africa, India, Canada, England, Australia, Spain, Croatia, and Norway.

This year’s incarnation of ELLNORA incorporates 11 individually ticketed events, both indoor and outdoor, along with 11 free shows, including concerts by Del Castillo, Buke and Gase, Gyan Riley, and El Ten Eleven).

Austin-based Dobro/steel master and three-time festival alum Cindy Cashdollar will serve as artist-in-residence, joining Dan Zanes and Friends, Kevin Breit’s Sisters Euclid, the Lee Boys, and others throughout the three-day guitar celebration.

Luther Dickinson, the 2011 artist-in-residence and one of Rolling Stone’s “New Guitar Gods,” also will return—this time with a musical configuration that blends Delta traditions with an eclectic set list and the all-female ensemble the Wandering.

Bluesman Buddy Guy, No. 23 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, also returns.

Other artists range from Norseman Andreas Aase, playing a guitar-bouzouki hybrid; South African Derek Gripper, who plays Malian kora music with influences from four continents, on a nylon-string classical guitar; Andalusian flamenco ambassador Paco Peña; Hindustani slide-guitar master Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya; and French-born impressionist/Gypsy jazz composer Stephane Wrembel.

The festival also includes such other U.S. guitarists Sam Bush, Kaki King, Del McCoury, Lucinda Williams, Jonny Lang, Del Castillo, John Scofield, El Ten Eleven, and Dweezil Zappa, among others.

The festival, which bears the name of its venue’s visionary founder, Ellnora Krannert, also provides a showcase for some of today’s most prominent female artists. In addition to King (who offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her most recent album release Glow in the video above), Cashdollar, and the women of the Wandering, female artists for 2013 include the classically trained Ana Vidovic, jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey, and country rocker Lucinda Williams.

Originally known as the Wall-to-Wall Guitar Festival, the event is organized by Krannert Center’s director Mike Ross and his staff in collaboration with curator and artistic advisor David Spelman, who is also founder/artistic director of the New York Guitar Festival.

For complete schedules and ticket information, visit www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com.

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