Smile Politely

The Overture: October 16-22

A person is sitting on a black leather couch in a room with a purple wall and a TV in the background. They are wearing a multicolored hoodie with the word “MIRI” on it, ripped jeans, and white sneakers. Their legs are crossed and their arms are resting on their knees. The background consists of a TV, a white table, and a purple wall with a mural on it.
Lil Zay Osama from 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, October 16

Guest Recital – Gaudete Brass

Recital Hall- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 7:30 p.m.

The Gaudete Brass Quintet, a group devoted to presenting serious brass chamber music through compelling concerts, is performing a guest recital. Their goal is to not only entertain but also to enrich and educate the audience on the brass repertoire beyond the traditional.

U of I Spencer Combo

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

The Rose Bowl Tavern is teaming up with the University of Illinois to host a series of performances by the talented students of the Jazz at Illinois program throughout the Fall semester of 2023. Guided by the university’s world-class jazz faculty and graduate students, these dedicated young musicians will impress with their skill and evolving musicianship as they showcase the hard work they’ve put into their craft.

The Urbana Hootenanny

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

The Urbana Hootenanny is a local music gathering that happens every Monday at the Rose Bowl Tavern. It’s a casual, friendly environment where local musicians and music lovers can come together to play and enjoy traditional, folk, and acoustic music.

Tuesday, October 17

Song Recital – Students of Casey Robards – Collaborative Piano

Recital Hall- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 7:30 p.m.

In this recital, students of Casey Robards showcase their growth in collaborative piano through a range of song performances. It’s a celebration of musical collaboration, displaying the harmony between piano and other instruments.

A person is sitting on a stool, playing a guitar. They are dressed in a blue plaid shirt and a tan hat. The guitar is silver and has a unique shape. The person is sitting in front of a microphone and there are other musical instruments in the background. The image is black and white.
Reverend Robert on Facebook

Reverend Robert

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

Reverend Robert is known for his mastery of pre-war blues, classic jazz, and early rock ‘n’ roll. His performances bring audiences back in time to the very core of American music, showcasing the timeless essence of various traditional genres.

4 members of Silverweed performing on a stage with a red wall in the background
Silverweed on Facebook


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

Silverweed, a staple in the C-U music scene for many years, is performing one of their last shows ever as a group. Come down to Rose Bowl to enjoy their timeless, soothing music for one of the final times. 

A group of people are sitting on a staircase. They are dressed in casual clothing, such as t-shirts, tank tops, and jeans. One person is wearing a green jacket and another is wearing a red shirt. The people are sitting close together and appear to be interacting with each other.
The Happy Fits on Facebook

The Happy Fits with Windser and Hot Freaks

The Castle Theatre // $25 // 7 p.m.

The Happy Fits are known for their folk-infused pop music that captivates audiences. Along with Windser and Hot Freaks, this event promises an energetic, heart-thumping musical experience.

Wednesday, October 18

Senior Recital – Naomi Niekerk – Saxophone

Auditorium- Music Building // free // 5:30 p.m.

Naomi Niekerk is a senior at the University of Illinois, and in this recital, she showcases her growth and development as a saxophonist. The performance includes a range of pieces, illustrating her versatility and command of the instrument.

Reggie Lewis & Friends

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

Reggie Lewis brings his tenor sax, his musical pals and his immense musical talent to the Rose Bowl to entertain and delight.

Route 66 Band featuring Robby, Sara, Vinny and Travis

Jazz UpFront (Bloomington) // $20 to $25 // 7 p.m.

The “Get Your Kicks ’23” tour, orchestrated by Hammond organ virtuoso Robby Robinson—a 45-year veteran from the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons band—brings a stellar lineup to the stage with Vinny Martell of Vanilla Fudge on lead guitar and accomplished vocalists Sara Niemietz and Travis Cloer. With a repertoire featuring Frankie Valli and Vanilla Fudge classics, alongside a special rendition of “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” the ensemble promises a nostalgic musical journey through well-loved tunes and Route 66-themed melodies, embodying the essence of this iconic highway.

Thursday, October 19

Faculty Recital – Guido Portuguez Sanchez Guitar Quartet

Memorial Room- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 7:30 p.m.

The Guido Portuguez Sanchez Guitar Quartet, led by faculty member Guido Portuguez Sanchez, brings classical guitar music to the forefront in this recital. It’s a night for guitar enthusiasts to enjoy well-arranged and expertly performed pieces.

Senior Recital – Annie Li – flute

Recital Hall- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 7:30 p.m.

Annie Li, a senior at the University of Illinois, showcases her flute prowess in this recital. It’s a journey through classical and modern flute pieces, exhibiting the sweet, mellifluous tones of the flute.

A person is sitting on a stool, playing an acoustic guitar. They are dressed in a green hat, a beige shirt, and beige pants. They are also wearing boots. The guitar is a light brown color with a black neck. The wall behind them is made of bricks and is partially painted white. The floor is made of concrete.
Noah G Fowler on Facebook

Americana Happy Hour ft. Noah G Fowler

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

Noah G Fowler brings a slice of Americana to the Rose Bowl Tavern with his heartfelt tunes. It’s a relaxed evening filled with stories told through song, connecting audiences to the essence of American folk traditions.

Friday, October 20

Graduate Recital – Madison Booth – flute

Recital Hall- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 7:30 p.m.

Madison Booth, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, takes the stage to present a flute recital. The performance showcases her technical skills and musical expression, with a repertoire spanning classical to contemporary pieces.

Graduate Recital – Steven Crook – voice

First United Methodist Church- Urbana // free // 7:30 p.m.

Steven Crook, a graduate voice student, performs a range of pieces in this recital. His powerful voice will fill the First United Methodist Church, taking audiences on a vocal journey through various musical periods and styles.

Jeff Helgesen & Friends

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

Jeff Helgesen & Friends bring a jazz-infused evening to the Rose Bowl Tavern. With a blend of well-known standards and original compositions, they provide a cozy atmosphere for patrons to unwind and enjoy the music.

A band is playing on a stage in a bar. There are five people on the stage, all dressed in casual clothing. The person on the left is playing a guitar, the person in the middle is playing a banjo, the person on the right is playing a guitar, and the person on the far right is playing a drum set. The stage is decorated with Christmas lights and flowers.
Chachi and the Bandidos on Facebook

Chachi & The Banditos

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 8:30 p.m.

Chachi and The Bandidos bring a vibrant blend of country classics, RnB hits, soul, and rock n roll to the Rose Bowl Tavern, ensuring a night filled with diverse tunes. Whether it’s the heartfelt melodies of country b-sides or the rhythmic pulse of RnB and rock, their performance promises a lively musical journey for all in attendance.

Four people are standing in front of a colorful mural. They are wearing casual clothing, including t-shirts, hoodies, and baseball caps. The mural is of a tree with a blue sky and a brick building in the background.
Isaac Arms

Sunwise with Hot Cops and Motes

The Space // $10 // 8 p.m.

Sunwise, Hot Cops, and Motes come together for a night of indie rock at The Space. Their unique sounds, ranging from melancholic to energetic, promise a diverse and engaging musical experience for attendees.

Main playing guitar on a dimly lit stage with a drummer behind him
Blues Deacons on Facebook

The Blues Deacons

Huber’s West End // free // 7 p.m.

The Blues Deacons are a local favorite, bringing authentic blues sounds to Huber’s West End. Their energetic performances have a way of getting everyone in the room tapping their feet to the rhythm.

Two individuals are on a stage. One is strumming a guitar, and the other is holding a microphone. They are both donning masks: one mask resembles a blue alien, and the other appears to be a green gas mask. Their attire is black, adorned with various patches and pins. The stage behind them is dimly lit with hues of purple and blue.
Vinny Washere

Mushroomhead with Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow; Kurt Deimer and Fleischkrieg

The Castle Theatre // $25 // 6:45 p.m.

Mushroomhead, known for their theatrical live shows and distinctive image, headlines a night of heavy metal and hard rock at The Castle Theatre. They’re joined by Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow, Kurt Deimer, and Fleischkrieg for a night that promises to be a visual and auditory feast.

Chuchito Valdès

Jazz UpFront (Bloomington) // $20 to $25 // 7 p.m.

Chuchito Valdès, a Steinway Artist, brings his Cuban jazz band to Jazz UpFront. With a blend of bebop, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and classical music, Chuchito creates a mesmerizing musical tapestry that’s both exciting and innovative.

Saturday, October 21

A band is performing on a stage. The stage is lit with purple and pink lights. There are four people in the band, one playing the keyboard, one playing the guitar, one playing the drums, and one playing the bass. They are all dressed in casual clothes and are sitting on stools or chairs. The stage has a wooden floor and there are empty chairs in the foreground.
New Orleans Jazz Machine

New Orleans Jazz Machine

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // noon

The New Orleans Jazz Machine brings the heart and soul of New Orleans jazz to the Rose Bowl Tavern. With a traditional lineup and a repertoire that spans the jazz history of the Crescent City, it’s a musical experience that transports audiences to the banks of the Mississippi.

A person is sitting at a drum set on a stage. They are dressed in a black t-shirt and are holding drumsticks. The drum set is silver and there are guitars and microphones in the background. The image is black and white.
Ian Shepherd on Facebook

Ian Shepherd & Friends

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

Ian Shepherd & Friends present a Saturday afternoon of live music at the Rose Bowl Tavern. It’s a relaxed atmosphere where patrons can enjoy some good tunes and good company.

The image captures a drummer on a stage with two other people. The drummer, in a white t-shirt, is playing a drum set. The other two individuals, standing on either side of the drummer, are dressed in dark clothing. The setting is a dark room with a stage and lighting.
Dalton Halls Band on Facebook

Dalton Halls Band

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

Soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop is what Dalton Halls Band has to offer this Saturday at Rose Bowl. Come dance and hangout.

Two people are on a stage with musical instruments. The person on the left is sitting on a stool and playing a guitar, wearing a yellow shirt and shorts. The person on the right is standing and singing into a microphone, wearing a red dress with a floral pattern. The stage is decorated with lights and plants. The background consists of a building and trees. The image is taken during the day.
Jake and Emily on Facebook

Anika Emily and Jake Fava

Huber’s West End // free // 7 p.m.

Anika Emily and Jake Fava offer a night of acoustic music at Huber’s West End. Their harmonious duets and soulful melodies create a warm and inviting atmosphere for all attendees.

Black and white photo of a band on stage. The photo is taken from the side of the stage.
The Pimps on Facebook

The Pimps with The Rumours and Cole Hollow

The Castle Theatre // $20 // 8 p.m.

The Pimps, with their signature blend of alternative and punk rock, headline a night of energetic music at The Castle Theatre. They are joined by The Rumours and Cole Hollow, making it a night full of rock anthems and high-octane performances.

A man stands in front of a white background putting on a hat while wearing a blue shirt with large flowers printed on it.
Chuchito Valdes on Facebook

Chuchito Valdès

Jazz UpFront (Bloomington) // $20 to $25 // 7 p.m.

Chuchito Valdès returns to Jazz UpFront for another night of stellar Cuban jazz. His performance is a blend of thrilling rhythms and melodious harmonies that captivate audiences from start to finish.

Closeup of a person's face. The person is wearing a gold chain and a black t-shirt. The image make them appear they have black eyes and are crying blood.
Lil Zay Osama from Facebook

EDITOR’S PICK: Lil Zay Osama with DCG Brothers and Lil Eazzyy

The Canopy Club // $25 to $40 // 10 p.m.

Lil Zay Osama, hailed as a fresh voice from Chicago, brings a narrative borne out of the city’s gritty reality, amassing a remarkable following with streams soaring into the millions. His transition from a tumultuous life on the Southside to a devoted father and musician has fueled his creative output, now gaining traction with his arresting lyrics and explosive visuals, demonstrating a promising ascent in the hip-hop scene.

Sunday, October 22

Guest Artist Masterclass with Christopher Anderson – saxophone

Auditorium- Music Building // free // 1 p.m.

Christopher Anderson, a renowned saxophonist, holds a masterclass at the University of Illinois. It’s a rare opportunity for aspiring musicians and enthusiasts to learn from a seasoned artist, gaining insights into the techniques and artistry of saxophone playing.

Guest Artist Recital – Christopher Anderson – saxophone and Casey Dierlam Tse – piano

Auditorium- Music Building // free // 3 p.m.

Following the masterclass, Christopher Anderson and Casey Dierlam Tse deliver a captivating recital. The synergy between the saxophone and piano creates a rich musical landscape, showcasing the artistry and technical prowess of both musicians.

Graduate Recital – Andrew McGowan – Tuba

Memorial Room- Smith Memorial Hall // free // 3:30 p.m.

Andrew McGowan, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, performs a tuba recital showcasing his mastery of the instrument. The performance explores a range of musical styles, demonstrating the versatility of the tuba.

Graduate Recital – Leon Lewis-Nicol – jazz piano

► Room 25 (LL), Smith Memorial Hall // free // 6:30 p.m.

Leon Lewis-Nicol, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, performs a jazz piano recital. His performance explores the breadth and depth of jazz piano, creating a vibrant and engaging musical narrative.

Senior Recital – Tavonn Adams – euphonium

Auditorium, Music Building // free // 7:30 p.m.

Tavonn Adams, a senior euphonium player, performs a range of compositions showcasing his musical growth and mastery of the euphonium. The performance provides a glimpse into the rich and sonorous world of low brass music. Just don’t call the euphonium a “baby tuba”.

Guest Recital – Chia Ying Chan and David Brickle – piano

Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall // free // 3:30 p.m.

Chia Ying Chan and David Brickle, two accomplished pianists, perform a guest recital. Their collaborative performance explores the intricacies and beauty of piano music, taking audiences on a musical journey through various styles and eras.

This photo is a photo-realistic image of a drummer playing a drum set in a dimly lit bar. The drummer is wearing a maroon shirt and is playing a drum set with a snare drum, cymbals, and a hi-hat. There is a drink in a plastic cup on the drum set. The background consists of a brick wall with graffiti on it and a cymbal.
James Maucks Forebeat on Facebook

James Mauck’s Forebeat

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

Experience an extraordinary performance by Forebeat, a one-man band where “Beats collide in an accelerator, frozen together within the moments needed to take a sharp breath.” Experience the harmonious convergence of an entire ensemble channeled through a single, dynamic musician.

A man sings into a mic holding a guitar. The photo is in black and white.
Anthony Gravino on Facebook

Anthony Gravino with Sass

► Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 7 p.m.

Anthony Gravino, a music producer and engineer and well-respected artist, teams up with Sass for a live performance at the Rose Bowl Tavern. Their combined musical talents promise an evening of engaging tunes and good vibes.

A person with long hair stands on a stage, microphone in hand. They are dressed in a white t-shirt with a black vest over it and blue jeans with a pattern. The stage is set against a large banner with the word “Foreigner” written on it, and is adorned with drums and other musical instruments.
Foreigner on Facebook


State Farm Center // $35-$95 // 7:30 p.m.

Foreigner, the iconic rock band known for timeless hits like “Cold as Ice” and “Juke Box Hero,” brings their signature sound to the State Farm Center. It’s a night of classic rock nostalgia, taking audiences back to the golden era of rock music.

Bow-Dacious String Band meets the Olde Music Group (OMG)!

Urbana Free Library – Busey Mills Reading Room // Free // 2 p.m.

The Bow-Dacious String Band meets the Olde Music Group (OMG) for an afternoon of traditional and folk music. It’s a community event that celebrates the joy of making music together, featuring local musicians of all ages.

A joint concert by the Parkland Chamber Singers with CrUUners and Guitar Ensemble

Unitarian Universalist Church – Urbana // free // 3 p.m.

The Parkland Chamber Singers team up with the CrUUners and Guitar Ensemble for a joint concert. The performance brings together voices and strings in a harmonious celebration of music.

Sunday Wine Down with Wes Olson

Alto Vineyards // free // 2 p.m.

Wes Olson provides the soundtrack for a relaxed Sunday afternoon at Alto Vineyards. His acoustic set creates a laid-back ambiance, perfect for winding down the week with a glass of wine.

A person stands in front of a concrete wall, arms crossed. They are dressed in a black t-shirt and have tattoos on both arms. A watch adorns their left wrist.
Henry Rollins on Facebook

EDITOR’S PICK: Henry Rollins

The Castle Theatre // SOLD OUT // 8 p.m.

Henry Rollins, the iconic punk rocker and spoken-word artist, performs to a sold-out crowd at The Castle Theatre. His unique blend of music and spoken word provides a thought-provoking, energized performance that resonates with audiences.

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