418 South Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, United States

(618) 457-5353

A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.

A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.

A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.

LIVE MUSIC

Bluegrass-Bending Trio

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Tuttle, Pool and Greuel

7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4
$12 advance / $15 door
Doors & Varsity Bar at 6


Kyle Tuttle, Jared Pool and Adam Greuel
deliver a high-energy and highly entertaining collaboration, and, after sharing many stages together, the trio is taking on their own project, bending the possibilities of bluegrass and shaping it into their own.


The Tuttle, Pool and Greuel Trio will be making a Midwest tour stop at the Varsity on Wednesday, March 4. Black Acre Productions is producing the show in conjunction with the downtown venue. The Varsity Bar will be open.


Focusing on the parts of the music that spark joy and grow the bluegrass community, the three writers and pickers will showcase some of their favorite material in a new and exciting way.


Tuttle is an international banjo champion who is shredding his way through the jamgrass scene. He has shared the stage with many epic performers, most notably as a member of the Jeff Austin Band for three years. Tuttle has also worked closely with jamgrass legends Larry Keel, Travelin’ McCourys, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings and Railroad Earth.


Pool is a multi-instrumentalist from Richmond, Virginia. After completing a jazz studies degree, Pool moved to Richmond in 2009, where he began working with various regional acts and has worked extensively with the Virginia Folklife Program. In 2017, Pool became the mandolinist for the Larry Keel Experience. Since then, he’s shared the stage with Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Travellin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth and Keller Williams.


Greuel’s music and personality has been noted for providing relief to the troubled mind, joy to the weary soul and light to those in darkness. In 2010, he joined forces with four other young acoustic instrumentalists and created the band Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. 

Committing to their music and a rigorous touring schedule, their road has led to such notable stages as Red Rocks Amphitheater, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Riverside Theater, Delfest and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, to name just a few.


Tickets are $12 in advance at Eventbrite (see link). Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but can be purchased for $15 on the night of the show when doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30.

Classical Guitar: Hector Torres

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7 p.m. Saturday, March 7
$14 adv / $16 at the door
$8 for students with ID
Children 10 and younger admitted free


The 2019-20 Southern Illinois Classical Guitar Series continues at the Varsity. This is the second year for the series at the downtown performance venue. The series is presented by First Southern Bank and co-produced by the Varsity and SI Classical Guitar.

  

Third in the series is Hector Alonso Torres, guitarist, lutenist and Theorbo player who will perform on March 7. 


Hailing from Puerto Rica and now completing his doctoral studies in performance guitar at the University of North Texas, Denton, Hector’s musical presentation is a complex mix of island rhythms, Spanish sounds and the contrapuntal music of the Baroque, of which he is a master interpreter. Multi-talented when it comes to the variety of guitar and guitar like instruments, Hector plays classical guitar, medieval lute and the Theorbo (a lute like instrument with a 5-foot-long fingerboard and five octaves). 


Hector has performed around the world, including a recent tour of China playing both as a soloist and with his trio, the Trio Resonance. He also teaches, and performs at festivals around the world. He has received many top prizes in guitar competitions both in the U.S. and abroad. He is president of the North Texas Guitar Consortium. 


The performance begins at 7 p.m., and doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30. 


Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door for adults, $8 for students with ID, and children 10 and younger are admitted at no charge. 


Tickets are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but will be available when doors open on the night of each performance.

“Phenomenon” Corky Siegel in Concert 2 Nights

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7 p.m. Friday, March 20
7 p.m. Saturday, March 21
$30 adv / $35 nos / $20 students with ID
6 p.m. Doors and Bar


Corky Siegel is known internationally as one of the world’s great blues harmonica players as well as a blues pianist, singer-songwriter and the sole pioneer and composer of award-winning revolutionary works that weave blues and classical forms together.


The Washington Post says “Corky Siegel is a phenomenon,” and the New York Times writes “They love Corky Siegel in Lincoln Center.”


Throughout the years, Siegel has played venues in Carbondale and Southern Illinois, but this will be his first time at the downtown venue.


Siegel co-founded the Siegel-Schwall Band, a group that was a major component of the young generation of white blues artists, including Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Harvey Mandel, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites and Michael Bloomfield, who learned the historic Chicago blues style at the feet and hands of such towering figures as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Sam Lay.


Siegel is a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and has a catalog of recordings on RCA, Vanguard, Alligator, and million-selling blues/classical recordings on the iconic classical label Deutsche Grammophon. 

After releasing three solo albums, he founded Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, featuring himself on harmonica, piano and vocals. The novel ensemble performed Siegel’s pioneering blues/classical music compositions and released its first album, “Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues” on Chicago’s famed blues label Alligator Records in 1994. The album gained rave notices from publications like Billboard and Stereophile, and has been followed by two more albums.


Additionally, Siegel has written and performed original works that have been performed nationally and around the world. He continues to appear internationally as guest soloist with global symphony orchestras and also tours frequently with Dr. L. Subramaniam, India’s greatest Eastern classical violin virtuoso.


Tickets are available in advance at Plaza Records, 816 E. Main St., Carbondale, and at Eventbrite (see link). Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but can be purchased on the night of the show when doors and bar open at 6.


CHECK HIM OUT:  https://www.corkymusic.com/ 

Classical Guitar: Kirk Hanser

Kirk Hanser performs at The Varsity April 4.

7 p.m. Saturday, April 4
$14 adv / $16 at the door
$8 for students with ID
Children 10 and younger admitted free


The 2019-20 Southern Illinois Classical Guitar Series offers its last performance of the season. This is the second year for the series at the downtown performance venue. The series is presented by First Southern Bank and co-produced by the Varsity and SI Classical Guitar.

  

Kirk Hanser will take the stage on April 4. Hanser is one of the world’s most versatile guitar players, excelling in virtually every type and style of guitar. He is most known for his classical solo concerts, his duet pieces as a part of the Hanser-McCellan Duo, and for his fingerstyle interpretations in the style and technique of Chet Atkins. 


Hanser will present a multi-media music and visual program that will transport the listener around the world. And the award-winning youth classical guitar ensemble, Bella Corda, instructed by Kirk, will perform the pre-show for the event.


Hanser is the on-call guitarist for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the MUNY and the St. Louis Opera. He also is on the faculty at several colleges and universities, including the Paris Conservatory in Paris, France. He is director of the St. Louis Guitar Academy and the Childbloom Guitar Program for St. Louis, in addition to his very active concert and gig calendar in the Midwest and internationally.


The performance begins at 7 p.m., and doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30. 


Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door for adults, $8 for students with ID, and children 10 and younger are admitted at no charge.


Tickets are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but will be available when doors open on the night of each performance.