Smile Politely

The Overture: March 4-10

My Politic on Facebook

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

Did we miss something this week? Have a show coming up you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected] with the details.

Monday, March 4th

A black and white image of a white man holding primitive musical instruments.
Jason Finkelman

Jason Finkelman presents Improvisers Exchange

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5:30 p.m.

Explore the world of improvisational music with Jason Finkelman, a night where spontaneity and creativity take center stage.

Slow Jam Revival

Lincoln Square Mall, Southeast Entrance (near Common Ground Food Co-op) // free // 7 p.m.

This community jam session focuses on traditional roots music including country, folk, and blues. It’s ideal for singers and players of all acoustic instruments, especially beginners and intermediate musicians, offering a supportive environment to play, learn, and share music at a comfortable pace.

The Urbana Hootenanny

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 8 p.m.

Gather for a community-driven evening of folk music and storytelling, featuring local musicians in a cozy, welcoming environment.

Four musicians are on stage, bathed in bright lights and surrounded by a cloud of smoke. The individual on the far left is clad in a dark outfit, strumming an electric guitar. Next to them, another musician, also in dark attire, is positioned behind a drum set. On the right, two more guitarists are present; one is attired in a light-colored jacket paired with dark pants, and the other is dressed in a dark outfit. They are all performing in front of a backdrop that boldly displays the text “MANIFEST WEST”, amidst an enthusiastic crowd.
Manifest West

Manifest West, Pullstring, Aftercare

The Space // $10 // 9 p.m.

Local rockers Manifest West invite their pals Pullstring and Aftercare to come over for a little Malört and a lot of rock.

Robyn Black

University of Illinois Music Building Auditorium // free // 7:30 p.m.

Robyn Black, who is the Principal Tuba player in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, showcases the tuba in a solo recital that promises to be unforgettable for brass instrument enthusiasts.

The image shows a large symphony orchestra assembled on stage, ready for a performance. The musicians, all in formal black concert attire, are holding their instruments, which include violins, violas, cellos, double basses, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The stage features wood-paneled walls and flooring, which provide a rich, warm aesthetic typical of traditional concert halls. The orchestra members are standing, indicating this may be taken either at the beginning or the end of a concert, or possibly during a standing ovation. The well-lit stage and the orderly arrangement of the musicians suggest a formal and professional setting.
Illini Strings on Facebook

Illini Strings

Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall, University of Illinois // free // 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy a performance by the Illini Strings, featuring the talents of student musicians in an evening of classical string compositions.

Tuesday, March 5th

The image features a male performer with a focused expression, wearing a green baseball cap, clear-framed glasses, and a light blue jacket with white accents. He is holding a microphone close to his mouth, suggesting he is either singing or speaking. In the background, the setting appears to be dimly lit, characteristic of a club or concert venue atmosphere. The image is branded with the Canopy Club logo and the text "Canopy Club Discover," indicating that this may be a promotional image for a discovery series event at the venue, highlighting new or emerging artists.
The Canopy Club

Femi Ishola

Canopy Club // $10 to $15 // 9 p.m.

Femi Ishola brings his dynamic presence to The Canopy Club, showcasing his blend of beats and bars that define the UIUC Hip-Hop Collective. Don’t miss this ‘Discover’ series event where Ishola, along with fellow seniors STVE SØL and RERI, Supraman from Half House Studios, and the versatile Nayiaa Official, promise an evening of fresh hip-hop rhythms and rhymes.

The image captures an orchestra setup on a stage, likely during a rehearsal or performance. The musicians are dressed in black attire, which is traditional for classical performances. The ensemble includes a variety of instruments such as strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and a grand piano, indicative of a full symphony orchestra. The harpist is prominently positioned in the foreground, suggesting a piece that features or includes a significant part for the harp. The stage has a polished wooden floor and is backed by a warm-toned, wood-paneled wall, creating an inviting and professional ambiance typical of concert halls or music conservatories.
Illinois Wind Symphony on Facebook

Illinois Wind Symphony: Chamber Winds

Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall, University of Illinois // free // 7:30 p.m.

The Illinois Wind Symphony presents an evening of chamber winds music, showcasing the versatility and skill of its members.

Wednesday, March 6th

Justin Dyer Jazztet

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m.

The Justin Dyer Jazztet brings together local jazz musicians for a session of smooth, improvisational jazz that’s sure to delight.

The image is a photo-realistic image of a person playing a saxophone. The person is wearing a checkered shirt and a necklace, and is holding the golden-colored saxophone with both hands. The background is black with a spotlight shining on the person.
Goio Lima on Facebook

Goio Lima

Gallery Art Bar // free // 7 p.m.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms of Brazil with Goio Lima, a night of music and lively performances.

Rudolf Haken, electric viola + Rob Auler, piano

University of Illinois Music Building Auditorium // free // 7:30 p.m.

Rudolf Haken and Rob Auler collaborate for a unique faculty recital, blending the sounds of electric viola and piano in a mesmerizing performance.

A man and woman performing onstage, both are singing into microphones and one is playing a guitar.
New Souls

New Souls

Anthem // free // 6 p.m.

New Souls take the stage for an acoustic set, offering an intimate performance that highlights their soulful melodies and lyrical depth.

Parkland Guitar Ensemble

Parkland College, U-wing Cafeteria // free // 1 p.m.

Enjoy an afternoon concert by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble, featuring a repertoire that spans classical to contemporary guitar works.

Thursday, March 7th

Two musicians stand side by side against a warm, red curtain backdrop, their expressions absorbed in the act of performance. The one on the left, with shoulder-length hair and a plaid shirt, gently cradles his guitar and focuses intently on his instrument. To the right, his bandmate, sporting a relaxed shirt and a cap, smiles as he sings into the microphone, his hands strumming his guitar with ease. The setting suggests an intimate concert, with each artist immersed in their craft, harmoniously delivering their music to an unseen audience.
My Politic on Facebook


Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m.

Americana / folk band My Politic serenades the crowd with their heartfelt storytelling and acoustic melodies. Their harmonies are world class, and each song will force you to tap your toes as well as make you think a bit.

The image shows a male pianist playing a black piano. He is viewed from the side and is focused on sheet music in front of him. The pianist is wearing glasses and a gray jacket, and the background is a deep red, which gives the setting an intimate and warm feel, typical for a jazz club or a concert venue with a cozy ambiance. The presence of sheet music suggests that he is either practicing, performing, or accompanying another musician or group.
Kurt Reeder on Facebook

Kurt Reeder’s Alt Keys

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 8 p.m.

Dive into the world of alternative jazz with Kurt Reeder’s Alt Keys, an innovative blend of traditional jazz infused with modern twists.

A group of five individuals poses in a semi-circular formation, with a focus on the central figure: a person sporting a vibrant red sweater and a necklace. The attire of the group varies, with some wearing plain t-shirts, a denim jacket, and a patterned overshirt. In the foreground, a hand gives a thumbs-up sign, partially obscuring the view. The setting appears to be a dimly-lit area with a simple, unadorned wall in the background, suggesting an informal and casual atmosphere.
Garden Girl on Instagram

Garden Girl

Canopy Club // $10 to $15 // 9 p.m.

Local indie-rockers Garden Girl are set to fill The Canopy Club with their unique sound, drawing inspiration from a wide spectrum of indie and alternative rock. Get ready to immerse yourself in their singer-songwriter energy fused with indie rock charm, with the up-and-coming The Meantime warming up the stage.

This is a photo of a person standing in front of a colorful graffiti wall. The person is wearing a multicolored sweater with an Aztec-like pattern and has dreadlocks. The graffiti wall has a green cartoon character and various tags and signatures in different colors. The background is dark and the lighting is low.
ZENtheRapper on Facebook

EDITOR’S PICK: ZENtheRapper with Frank Samuel and Eli Kling

Gallery Art Bar // $10 // 7 p.m.

Explore the diverse sounds of the Urbana music scene with ZENtheRapper, Frank Samuel, and Eli Kling in a showcase of local hip-hop and rap.

The black and white image shows a group of five musicians posing casually by an old brick building. Two are seated; one holds a violin, and the other has an accordion on her lap. Three are standing; the central figure holds a guitar, a woman to the right carries a stringed instrument, possibly a mandolin, across her body, and another is leaning against the wall, looking upwards. They all appear relaxed and content, suggesting a folksy or acoustic band vibe. The setting with an old trailer in the background and a weathered door to the left adds a rustic charm to the scene.
Turas on Facebook


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

Enjoy a glass of wine and unwind with Turas at Krannert Center Uncorked, an ensemble that brings the rich traditions of Celtic music to life with lively jigs and reels.

yMusic and Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby & yMusic present BRHYM

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // $10 to $90 // 7:30 p.m.

Don’t miss this collaboration between Bruce Hornsby and yMusic as they blend classical elements with pop sensibilities in a groundbreaking performance.

Friday, March 8th

Erik Lund’s Jazz Friends

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m.

Gather for a session of smooth jazz with Erik Lund and his talented friends, a perfect way to wind down the week.

The black and white image features an individual performing on stage with an acoustic guitar. The musician has short-cropped hair and tattooed arms, which are visible as they wear a short-sleeved shirt. They are playing the guitar with focus and intensity, as evidenced by their closed eyes and the position of their mouth, suggesting they are singing into a microphone stand in front of them. The microphone and stand have an attached cup holder with a beverage cup in it. The performer is wearing dark shorts and a dark t-shirt with a visible graphic or text on the front. The stage has a rustic wooden backdrop, with vertical slats providing a textured background. The musician stands on what appears to be a wooden platform or stage, and the lighting creates soft shadows around them, emphasizing the intimate atmosphere of the live performance.
Sass Siders on Facebook

Sass Siders

Pour Bros. // free // 7 p.m.

Sass Siders brings her unique blend of indie and folk to Pour Bros., promising an evening of introspective lyrics and melodious tunes.

Saturday, March 9th

Candy Foster

Candy Foster and Shades of Blue

Neil Street Blues // $15 to $20 // 9 p.m.

Experience the soul-stirring blues of Candy Foster and his band, a night of powerful vocals and rhythmic blues that resonate with every note.

The After Party

Huber’s West End Store // free // 7 p.m.

The party doesn’t stop with The After Party, bringing together local talents for a night of music, laughter, and unforgettable memories.

A man is seen in the foreground playing a saxophone, his focus intent upon the instrument. He is wearing a dark blazer over a formal ensemble, suggesting a jazz or formal music event setting. In the background, another person, slightly out of focus, appears to be seated at a drum set, hinting at a band or ensemble performance. The lighting is subdued with a spotlight effect, which typically indicates a stage or a performance venue environment.
Dr Reginald Lewis on Instagram

Reginald Lewis with special guest Arnett Johnson

Jazz UpFront // $8 to $10 // 8 p.m.

Join Reginald Lewis and Arnett Johnson for an evening of jazz that blends traditional sounds with contemporary influences, a treat for the soul.

The Painkiller Blues Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 3 p.m.

Get ready for a dose of the blues with The Painkiller Blues Band, known for their gritty guitar riffs and soulful vocals that tell stories of life and love.

The image features four men standing against a brick wall with graffiti. From left to right: the first man has a full beard, wearing a gray T-shirt and jeans, the second man is wearing a light blue T-shirt with distressed jeans, the third man is in a black beanie and navy shirt, and the fourth man is in a black shirt with arms crossed. They all wear casual footwear. The setting suggests an urban or industrial area, and their style implies they could be a band or a group associated with a creative endeavor. The casual poses and attire, along with the graffiti background, give the image a relaxed, yet edgy vibe.
Painted Canyon on Facebook

Painted Canyon With Nick Guzman and The Coyotes and Lydia Cash

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 to $15 suggested donation // 8 p.m.

Painted Canyon, alongside Nick Guzman and The Coyotes and Lydia Cash, promises an evening of folk and Americana that speaks to the heart.

Sunday, March 10th

Occasional Cajun Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 4 p.m.

Step into the vibrant world of Cajun music with the Occasional Cajun Band, a lively performance filled with the spirit of Louisiana.

Three individuals are standing in front of a white wall. All are dressed in black t-shirts. The individual in the center appears to be a woman with tattoos on her arms and stomach. The individual on the left has his arms crossed, while the one on the right has his arms folded. The photo is in black and white.
Sweetmelk on Facebook

Sweetmelk with No TagBacks and Brainsex

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 cover // 8 p.m.

End your weekend on a high note with the skull-rattling, punk-infused rock of Sweemelk along with musical trouble-makers No TagBacks and Brainsex.

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