Smile Politely

The Overture: February 28-March 6

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, February 28th

Twoleggedzoo, Heuristics

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5:30 p.m.

It’s experimental music Monday at Rose Bowl, with Twoleggedzoo bringing electronic dance music, and Heuristics bringing experimental modular synth looping. 

Improvisers Exchange Presents Stephan Crump

Levis Faculty Center // free // 7 p.m.

Jason Finkelman’s Improvisers Exchange brings Grammy-nominated, renowned bassist Stephan Crump to the U of I camous for a solo performance. He is also leading a workshop and presentation on improvised music at 4 p.m. earlier in the day. 

Urbanna Hootenanny

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

Every Monday at the Rose Bowl, come hang out with some great musicians. A sort of open mic meets song share, you can expect a variety of music and performers.

Andrew Duncanson and Ronnie Shellist

WEFT Sessions (virtual) // free // 10 p.m.

These two wonderful blues musicians are bringing us an hour of entertainment, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. 

TUESDAY, March 1st

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

Fat Tuesday Party 

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

It’s Mardi Gras, and Rose Bowl has the party covered. New Orleans Jazz Machine takes the stage at 5 p.m., followed by Occasional Cajun Band at 7 p.m., and the jazz jam at 9 p.m. 

Vine Street Syncopators

Esquire // free // 5 p.m.

Fromm 5-8 p.m., Vine Street Syncopators will be hitting up Esquire, bringing some dixieland jazz perfect for dancing. 

Mardi Gras at NOLA’s 

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 7:30 p.m.

A night of drink specials and great bands, New Orleans Jazz Machine plays at 7:30 p.m., Sixth Street Brass at 10 p.m., and DJ Belly at midnight. 

WEDNESDAY, March 2nd

Chip McNeil Quartet

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Saxophonist Chip McNeil returns to bang out the tunes with his quartet. Come hang out for happy hour!

THURSDAY, March 3rd

The Bashful Youngens

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Local folk favorites The Bashful Youngens hit the Rose Bowl for an evening of roots and Americana.

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

Krannert Uncorked

Krannert Center (Stage 5) // free // 5 p.m.

Nostalgia galore at Krannert tonight, with “I Remeber It Well,” a musical showcase of Tin Pan Alley, WWII, and Broadway songs, alongside jazz standards, opera, and more. 

The Smoky Nights

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8:30 p.m.

Nashville’s The Smoky Nights combines acoustic guitar, mandolin, and violin, and drums to create a unique folk/pop/americana sound. They’ve toured with some bigger names, including Diamond Rio, and are quickly rising in popularity. 

FRIDAY, March 4th

Jordan Kaye The Tunewrangler

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Bringing you songs, stories, and witty banter, Jordan Kaye is sure to be a night of fun. With a mix of rock, folk, and requests, come hangout at the Rose Bowl.

River Valley Rangers 

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8:30 p.m.

If you’re looking for some high energy bluegrass, this is the band for you. River Valley Rangers is a stringband that is sure to get your feet stomping. 

SATURDAY, March 5th

University of Illinois Jazz Band 3

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 3 p.m.

U of I Jazz Band 3 at the Rose Bowl — come out to show some support to these incredibly talented students, playing some big band jazz. 

New Twang City

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6 p.m.

Some good ole country honky tonk, this will be a fun Saturday night at Rose Bowl Tavern.


NOLA’s Rock Bar // $7 // 7 p.m.

Wisconsin rockers Ifdakar take the stage at NOLA’s as part of their Summer Camp Saturdays events. 

The Chickadee Sermon

Pour Bros // free// 8:30 p.m.

Folk/americana group The Chickadee Sermon is playing not one but two sets at Pour Bros on Saturday. Joining them in between sets will be Kyle Tasch, playing a short but sweet set of folk music. 

J. Jones and the TriTones

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 10 p.m.

James Jones, Mitchell Killough, Justin Simmons and JD Dye make up this group, bringing some smooth tunes and tasty licks. 

SUNDAY, March 6th

image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

Andrew Danforth Quintet

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m.

The Andrew Danforth Quintet brings original jazz tunes as well as some standards, led by trombonist Andrew Danforth.

Tom Grassman

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

Tom Grassman is usually playing with his band, bringing some rock and roll party music — tonight he’s playing solo, but it will no doubt still be a party. 

Summer Camp: On The Road

Canopy Club // $7 // 7 p.m.

This is the new date for the event that was originally scheduled for February 17th. Essentially a battle of the bands, artists perform and listeners vote as to who the best act is. Winner gets a spot on the Summer Campy Music Festival 2022 lineup. Lots of great acts competing this year.

Top image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

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