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Arts Across Illinois

Current Show

Centerstage 2005

Featuring emerging musicians, dancers and one storyteller from across Illinois.

Tom Sharpe
Luna Negra Dance Theater
Maggie Brown
Joni Laurence
JASC Tsukasa Taiko
Randy Erwin
Jeff Midkiff & Ashley Lewis
Orbert Davis


Tom Sharpe — Classically trained Oswego musician Tom Sharpe dramatically blends his orchestral background with world music instrumentation, creating music that is both wildly emotional and technically precise.

Tom Sharpe
Kevin Jocius, Percussion
Paul G. Ross, Percussion
Jennifer Silverstone, Violinist

Song Performed
Like Setting Myself on Fire



Luna Negra Dance Theater — Chicago troupe Luna Negra Dance Theater creates modern, contemporary dances that express and celebrate the rich diversity of Latino cultures today.

Jorge Quintero
Veronica Guadalupe
Founder & Artistic Director
Edwardo Vilaro

Dance Performed



Maggie Brown — Chicago's own Maggie Brown carries on the family tradition of telling stories and singing jazz-influenced songs that explain and enrich our collective human experience.

Maggie Brown
Keith M. Kelley, Drummer
Kevin Patrick, Drummer

Maggie Brown Presents Excerpts From Legacy:Our Wealth of Music

"I dedicate this performance to my father Oscar Brown Jr."


Joni Laurence — "Not just another girl with a guitar," Joni Laurence of Champaign delivers thoughtful folk/pop songs that flow from the pen of an artist who loves and understands her native Illinois.

Joni Laurence, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Matt Stewart, Electric Guitar
Ryan Groff, Vocalist
Josh Quirk, Drummer

Songs Performed
I Will Not Forget
Trashbag Birdie



JASC Tsukasa Taiko — Passing on the legacy of the rich heritage of Japanese drumming, while evolving the taiko art form.

Hide Yoshihashi, drummer
Kioto Aoki, drummer
Eigen Aoki, drummer

Songs Performed
Yamabiko (Echo)

Hide Yoshihashi

Artistic Director
Tatsu Aoki


JASC Tsukasa Taiko is a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest and the Japanese American Service Committee.


Randy Erwin — Downstate cowboy yodeler Randy Erwin travels the globe from his Springfield home, celebrating the tradition of cowboy folklore through singing and trick roping.

Tom Sharpe and Ensemble:
Tom Sharpe
Kevin Jocius, Percussion
Paul G. Ross, Percussion
Jennifer Silverstone, Violinist

Songs Performed
Coyboy Rhythm
Back in the Saddle Again



Jeff Midkiff & Ashley Lewis — Master mandolinist Jeff Midkiff of Carpentersville and 18-year old bluegrass artist Ashley Lewis of Sandwich combine their unique and diverse styles to create their own exhilarating brand of string music.

Jeff Midkiff, Mandolin
Ashley Lewis, Mandolin
Jim Cox, Bass
Don Stiernberg, Guitar

Songs Performed
Partners in Time/Old Joe Clark
Sterett's Last Run



Orbert Davis — As one of Chicago's most sought-after musicians, inventive trumpeter and composer Orbert Davis is at the forefront of Chicago's burgeoning jazz scene.

Orbert Davis, Trumpet
Ari Brown, Saxophone
Ryan Cohan, Piano
Lorin Cohen, Bass
Tracy Kirk, Trombone
Kobie Watkins, Drums

Songs Performed
Miles Ahead


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