Music & Entertainment
America's Music Quad Cities, April 11 through May 23 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Jennifer Christiansen   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:43

America’s Music Quad Cities is  a cooperative effort from Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline and Rock Island Libraries, along with River Music Experience and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, to present the series of programs America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway.  This six week series features documentary film screenings, scholar-led discussions of twentieth-century American popular culture, and live performances.

Detailed information about the series schedule can be found by visiting our web site

Quad City Libraries, Non-profits Band Together to Present 19 Programs for “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway”

From April 11 to May 23, the halls of local libraries and non-profits will resound with the beat of uniquely American musical genres, thanks to the grant-funded “America’s Music” project.

Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline and Rock Island Public Libraries, in collaboration with River Music Experience and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, will host the six-week series, which features documentary film screenings, scholar-led discussions of twentieth-century American popular music and live performances.

“America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” covers a wide span of musical interests, including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo, and hip hop. Featuring 19 presentations in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities, the local effort is one of just 50 sites nationwide selected to host this program series, which is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

Starting with blues and gospel and ending with swing jazz, the general audience programs will explore the connections between six uniquely American genres of 20th century music and the influence of music on the history, culture and geography of the United States. Each screening and discussion session will examine an important American musical genre in the context of key social and historical developments, giving attendees of  all ages an opportunity to recognize the influence of these popular music forms on the cultural landscape.

A full list of performances and locations is available at, but the basic line-up is as follows:

Program partners and sponsors will kick off the series with a live performance by Iowa Blues Challenge winners The Candymakers from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm at the River Music Experience. Blues and gospel fill the week of April 15, with film/discussion events of “Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues” and “Say Amen Somebody” at the Rock Island Main Library and Davenport Public Library, Eastern Avenue Branch.

Broadway and Tin Pan Alley fill the week of April 22 with film/discussion events of “Broadway: The American Musical” at Moline Public Library and River Music Experience, along with a Broadway performance by The District Theatre and Tristan Layne Tapscott at the Moline Public Library.

Bluegrass and county music are the focus of the week of April 29, with film/discussion events of “High  Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music” at Western Illinois University-QC and the Bettendorf Public Library. Bettendorf Library will also host a bluegrass performance by River Town, a four-piece ensemble performing traditional bluegrass and folk favorites.

Classic rock and roll takes the stage during the week of May 6, with film/discussion events of “The History of Rock ‘n Roll: Plugging In,” at the Bettendorf Public Library and Rock Island Main Library. The Rock Island Library will also host a performance by Meet the Press, a dynamic three-piece band performing 80s and 90s originals.

Mambo and Hip Hop music will fill the week of May 13, with film/discussion events of “Latin Music U.S.A. and “From Mambo to Hip Hope: A South Bronx Tale,” at Davenport Public Library Eastern Avenue Branch and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. The Davenport Public Library will also present a Hip Hop dance performance and instruction event with Midwest Academy of Dance.

Swing Jazz events fill the week of May 19, starting with a jazz performance at the Polyrhythms Third Sunday jazz at the River Music Experience. The event, featuring the Bill Bell Trio, is the only ticketed event in the series. Cost is $10 general admission or $15 for reserved seating. Tickets will be available at the door, or by calling 309-373-0790. Free swing jazz film and discussion events with excerpts from “Ken Burns Jazz” and the “International Sweethearts of Rhythm” take place during the week at River Music Experience and Moline Public Library.

Discussions, along with a call for stories about memories of the Quad City musical landscape, will be led by program scholar Dr. Daniel S. Malachuk, associate professor of English at Western Illinois University–Quad Cities, and several faculty colleagues, including Dr. Everett Hammer (English), Dr. Nancy Schaefer and Dr. Tammy Werner (Sociology), and two students in the English Masters program, Chelsea Clearman and Jill King.

With help from his students, Dr. Malachuk will present some of the local stories collected at the final event in the series, “Celebrating America’s Music in the Quad Cities, “ from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, May 23, at the Western Illinois University – Quad Cities Riverfront Atrium. Attendees are encouraged to bring their stories about the great variety of music heard in the Quad Cities over the past 50 years. Musicians are encouraged to bring instruments, as the event will close with an open mic event of local performers.

For details, please visit or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 309-524-2470.

“America’s Music” is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. “America’s Music” has been made possible by a major $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Additional funding for the Quad City effort was received from the Riverboat Development Authority, Sedona Technologies, UAW Local 2282, Friends of the Moline Public Library and Friends of the Rock Island Public Library, along with in-kind sponsorships from River Cities Reader, WQAD-TV News Channel 8, STAR 93.5, WQPT Quad Cities PBS and WVIK Augustana Public Radio.


News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Kate DeGroot   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:53
(Peoria, IL) – March 20, 2013 – The SMG managed Peoria Civic Center is excited to announce Anita Renfroe’s
“Mother of all Comedy” tour will be coming to the Peoria Civic Center Theater with special guests Henry Cho
and Warren Barfield on May 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. and tickets are available now for $22.50 and $27.50 at, all Ticketmaster locations, the Peoria Civic Center Box Office and by phone at 800-745-

If laughter is the best medicine, then we’ve got just what the doctor ordered! The Mother of All Comedy Tour!
coming this spring, YouTube-sensation Anita Renfroe and Comedy Central-featured comedian Henry Cho
have teamed up and hit the road! These two acclaimed comedians have packed their bus full of zingers and
hilarious stories, and they’re headed your way. When “Froe and Cho Bring the Show,” you can count on a no
holds barred outlook on life’s hilarious and sometimes, downright unbelievably crazy moments.

Anita Renfroe debuted with her own 3-minute rendition of the William Tell Overture titled “Momisms.” This
highly celebrated video, summing up all those things a mother says to her children, rapidly acquired an
overwhelming 10 MILLION YouTube views catapulting Anita to countless mainstream media stops including
ABC’s Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox and Friends, Dr. Phil, and more. Renfro’s other credits include an
ABC sitcom pilot with co-star Ryan Stiles, a New York Times Magazine featured story, and the chance to be a
presenter at the GMA Dove Awards in 2008. For more information, visit

Henry Cho, the quick-witted Tennessean-Korean comic with a slow-burning Southern accent, made his splash
into the scene via Comedy Central. This special was filmed in his southern hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Being a full-blooded Korean, Cho refers to himself as… well… “South Korean.” Henry’s TV and film credits
include appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late, Late, Show, and countless others. He served
two years as host of NBC’s Friday Night Videos and has made numerous guest appearances on various
network sitcoms. Cho’s own GAC sitcom, “The Henry Cho Show” debuted in the Fall of 2011. He can also be
heard daily on Sirius/XM and Blue Collar Radio.

“Froe and Cho” will be bringing their side-splitting family friendly comedy to Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL
on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

RJ&TW play RIBCO and Redstone PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Sara Escalante   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:23

Southern California natives, Robert Jon & the Wreck, began their musical journey together in February 2011. Within 6 months the band had not only embarked on a national tour, but also released their debut album, Fire Started. This full-length effort, which is blues-heavy with moments of soft country, tempered by down-beat driven classic rock nuance, earned them a nod from the 2012 Orange County Music Awards in the category of “Best Blues,” as well as a spot in the finals for that year’s “Best Live Band.”

Fueled by this success, the Wreck took the road again in the summer of 2012, drumming up fans from Seattle to Boston to South Carolina and everywhere in between, delivering fierce performances, emblazoned with commitment and dripping in a rawness that’s impossible to fake. Simply put, it is difficult to ignore when these five musicians take the stage. Little wonder they have made an impact on audiences across the country, where they’ve played a run of sold-out shows and proudly shared bills with talent the likes of Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth), Walk the Moon and Rival Sons.

They returned to the studio in early 2013 to record their sophomore project, which was produced by Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith), engineered by Philip Allen (Adele), and mastered by Robert Vosgien (Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt) at Swing House Studios in Hollywood. This new, and even edgier material has simply added more fuel to the fire that Robert Jon & the Wreck ignite while performing. Audiences all over Orange County and Los Angeles have crammed venues, salivating over a band that is determined to not miss the mark. This sharpshooter like mentality was fully recognized when Robert Jon & the Wreck won the title of “Best Live Band” at the 2013 Orange County Music Awards, along with nominations in the categories of “Best Rock,” and “Best Blues.”

To take a line from a track off their forthcoming album, Robert Jon & the Wreck have no plans to “let the fire burn out.” Orange County’s reigning “Best Live Band” is ready to load up the van and hit the road again. Kicking things off in Austin for SXSW, the Wreck will continue their “Rhythm of the Road” tour for 7 weeks, playing over 20 shows across 10 states.

As 2013 dawns, the band finds themselves at the cusp of many new adventures. With the second album due for release in June, and plenty of touring in the cards, fans across the nation should prepare themselves to get wrecked by the lion-strength energy behind the ever-growing beast… ROBERT JON & THE WRECK.

-Robert Jon Burrison: vocals, guitar
-Andrew Espantman: drums
-Steve Maggiora: keys, vocals
-Kristopher Butcher: lead guitar, vocals
-Nick Phakpiseth: bass

“Rhythm of the Road” TOUR DATES

SXSW – Austin, TX
3/11 Beacon Lounge (Sweet Relief)
3/12 Nomad Bar
3/13 Warhorse (Heart of Texas RockFest)
3/15 Wahoo’s
3/24 Music City Bar – Nashville, TN
3/25 Red Rooster – Nashville, TN
3/27 Mojo’s – Omaha, NE
3/28 Second St. Slammer – Hastings, NE
3/29 Cunningham’s Journal – Kearney, NE
3/30 Cunningham’s Journal – Kearney, NE
3/31 Parlor City Pub – Cedar Rapids, IA
4/04 R.I.B.C.O. – Rock Island, IL
4/05 Redstone Room (Lounge) – Davenport, IA
4/11 Smiley’s Tavern – New Ulm, MN
4/12 Vishnu Bunny Tattoo – Sioux Falls, SD
4/13 The Garage – Kearney, NE
4/16 Zoo Bar – Lincoln, NE
4/18 Barley St. Tavern – Omaha, NE
4/19 Wahoo’s RJTW Party – Lincoln, NE
4/20 Belle Isle Brewery – Oklahoma City, OK
4/22 Bash Riprock’s – Lubbock, TX
4/24 Marble Brewery – Albuquerque, NM
4/26 Tin Can Alehouse – San Diego, CA
4/27 Stillwater (Renaissance) – Dana Point, CA


“Live, their set is derived in a way that makes you want to jump up & down, grow a beard, and close-knuckle-punch a bear in the jaw.” -Unearth Music Hub (OC) “A perfect bar band, as they will be sure to create and enhance the atmosphere in any setting in any city.” -Examiner (LA)

“They may be a friendly and laid back bunch, but this high-energy Americana outfit is die-hard when it comes to performing and touring… these are the kind of nice guys that don’t finish last.” -KROQ

“The five-piece blues/rock outfit is as hardworking as they come… but it’s the sweet licks and smooth jamming style that separates this band from the pack.” - CBS (LA)

“…it might prove wise not to cross Robert Jon Burrison & his crew; with songs such as “Tear you Down,” The Wreck isn’t afraid to use a distortion pedal.” –OC Weekly (OC)

“…enter Robert Jon & The Wreck like a splash of water, or rather whiskey, in your face. The modest stage could barely contain the massive energy these five masters of music bringeth!” –MusicInPress (OC)

MVBS Presents Guitarist J.P. Soars—Wednesday March 27 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by MVBS   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 10:50

The 2009 International Blues Challenge winner J.P Soars will be playing a show sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society on Wednesday, March 27th at Martini’s On The Rock, 4619 34th Street, Rock Island IL. Showtime is 7:00; admission is $10, $8 for MVBS members.

J.P. Soars and his band The Red Hots not only won the International Blues Challenge in’09, but that same year J.P. got the coveted Albert King Award for “Most Promising Guitarist”. Since then the raves have continued to roll in with Mr. Soars garnering a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Artist of 2012, based mostly on his new release, More Bees With Honey.

And if you’d like a little taste of this year’s upcoming MVBS Fest 2013, make an effort to come to Martini’s and give a listen to this guitarist extraordinaire, who will be teamed with slide guitarist Damon Fowler and pianist Victor Wainwright in an all-star band called Southern Hospitality who will headline the Tent Stage on Thursday July 4th at 10:00 p.m.

And if that still isn’t enough to entice you, come see J.P. play his homemade, 2-string cigar box guitar for some very old-time blues.

jp soars 2.jpg

Windy City Gay Idol kicks off 11th year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Scott Duff   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 10:38

CHICAGO -Windy City Gay Idol, now in its 11th year, kicks off the 2013 search for the best amateur gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) singers in the Chicago area. What began as a fun promotion has grown into the largest and most highly anticipated annual competition in Chicago's GLBT community.

Past Windy City Gay Idol winners have gone on to sing at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Allstate Arena, Market Days and at festivals around Illinois, Milwaukee, Toronto and Vancouver. In addition, the 2012 Windy City Gay Idol Finals featured Josh "JDA" Davilla who landed in the Top 40 on Fox's American Idol 2013. Plus the 2008 Windy City Gay Idol Finals featured a then-unknown Lady Gaga as a guest performer. Audience members never know what they will see and hear. Come sing, or simply come vote while enjoying the show.

Windy City Gay Idol, produced by Windy City Media Group, kicks off Sunday, April 7 at The Sofo Tap, 4923 N. Clark St. The competition continues through June with competitions in Chicago's bars and clubs.

Windy City Gay Idol 2013 preliminary competitions are one-night-only at different bars. As many as 20 participants sing at each venue, where all contestants compete for the chance to advance to the semi-finals Saturday, June 15 at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted. Results from every preliminary, semi-final and final event come from audience votes. Votes from friends, family and audience members hopefully land them on the stage at the finals Wednesday, June 26 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse.

The 2013 Windy City Gay Idol Premium sponsor is Smirnoff. Other Sponsors include Ketel One, Tanqueray, Don Julio, Creaoke, Broadway in Chicago, American Airlines, and SpeedPro Printing.

With more than $5,000 in cash and prizes, all contestants will face local celebrity judges that include singers, DJs, actors, talent and casting agents, and others familiar with the performance arena.

Each winner collecting the most votes at each preliminary bar will win $100 cash. Two winners from each bar will advance to the semi-finals. Audience members at each bar also have the chance to win great prizes, such as Smirnoff merchandise, concert and theater tickets, new DVD & CD releases, and much more.

The finals feature big prizes for audience members as well as the top three contestants, including weekend stays at downtown hotels, vacation trips and tickets to top Chicago theaters and concert venues.

The finals winner crowned at Mayne Stage is awarded $1,000 in cash, a premium prize, Smirnoff gifts, theater and concert tickets, plus the coveted title of Windy City Gay Idol 2013.

The promotion is open to all amateur singers age 21 and above, regardless of sexual orientation. There is a $10 signup fee for singers, and a $5 fee for audience members at all preliminary events.

The Windy City Gay Idol 2013 schedule:


Sunday, April 7: The Sofo Tap, 4923 N. Clark, 8pm sign up, 9pm start

Friday, April 12: Hideaway, 7301 Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park, 9pm sign up, 10pm start

Wednesday, April 17: Touche, 6412 N. Clark, 9pm sign up, 10pm start

Sunday, April 21: T's bar, 5025 N. Clark, 7pm sign up, 8pm start

Wednesday, April 24: Mary's Attic, 5400 N Clark, 8pm sign up, 9pm start

Thursday, May 2: The Call, 1547 W. Bryn Mawr, 7pm sign up, 8pm start

Tuesday, May 7: Jackhammer, 6406 N. Clark, 9pm sign up, 10pm start

Thursday, May 16: DS Tequila, 3352 N. Halsted, 8pm sign up, 9pm start.

Thursday, May 23: Crew, 4804 N. Broadway, 8:30pm sign up, 9:30pm start

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