Past Event

Roots of Rural Music

A Road Scholar Program by Chris Vallillo

Illinois is unique among all the states in that its access to the major waterways of the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois Rivers, as well as the Great Lakes, made it a virtual crossroads of peoples, cultures, and ideas. As railroads surpassed the rivers as a means of transportation, Illinois would become the central hub for the nation’s rails. This mingling of people produced a rich body of roots music which paints a colorful portrait of our heritage and gives detailed insight into the people and times that forged the state we have become. From the songs of the first pioneers through the era of Steamboats, trains, and early radio, award winning folksinger and music collector, Chris Vallillo, brings this rich heritage to life in a lively performance and discussion of the roots music of rural Illinois and its impact on our lives today.

Chris Vallillo has spent over 30 years collecting, learning, and performing the roots music of the rural Midwest. He has conducted two major folklore collection projects, one of which now resides in the Library of Congress folklore collection in Washington, DC. Chris has performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, and festivals, as well as on television and radio. From 1990 through 1997, Chris hosted and co-produced an award winning, nationally syndicated performance radio program, Rural Route 3.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Teresa Ozawa, 847.255.1225.