Chris Thile & Michael Daves and Tony Rice Perform One of Ten Free Shows at ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival


Tony Rice and Chris Thile & Michael Daves are among the artists to perform free shows at ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center in Urbana, IL, September 8-10, 2011.

Tony Rice’s nimble, progressive sound has earned 10 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards as well as a Grammy Award, and collaborations with Ricky Skaggs, ELLNORA alum Jerry Douglas, and Central Illinois native Alison Krauss have solidified his place in the pantheon of bluegrass giants. “If bluegrass has a guitar god, it’s Tony Rice, who has left a generation of aspiring guitarists trying to duplicate his clean, speedy, otherworldly sound” (New Yorker).

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (of Punch Brothers) and bluegrass guitarist Michael Daves will perform at ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival 2011. The duo recently released the impassioned collaboration/conversation, Sleep with One Eye Open, an album feverishly recorded over four days in Jack White’s Third Man studio in Nashville that features 16 traditional tunes by legends like The Monroe Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Flatt & Scruggs. Thile explains, “Mandolin and guitar and two male voices—it’s such a good sound. It was important for us was to get that brother duet thing, but with this Lower East Side punk energy. One of the most enjoyable things about this experience was to underline the slightly delinquent side of bluegrass.”

Chris Thile & Michael Daves and The Tony Rice Unit will perform in Krannert Center’s intimate yet grand 1.5-acre lobby, grounded with Indonesian teak floors, flanked by massive Carrera marble walls, and capable of holding an audience of several thousand. Other ELLNORA artists featured in FREE shows are Artist-in-Residence Luther Dickinson and Grammy Award winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, The Sheryl Bailey 3, the Beijing Guitar Duo, Rory Block and Cindy Cashdollar, Adrian Belew, Kevin Breit’s Folkalarm, Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos, and flamenco artist Marija Temo.

More details on Chris Thile & Michael Daves, Tony Rice, and all of the free shows at ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center (September 8-10, 2011) will be released on June 15, 2011. Please visit for information on previous festivals and for announcements about the 2011 lineup.


Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is situated on the campus of the University of Illinois, in the micro-urban community of Champaign-Urbana, and is North America’s premier university-based performing arts complex. ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival (originally called the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival), held biennially, was launched in 2005 and through its eclectic global mix has presented many of the world’s most influential guitarists and bands, including Buddy Guy, Ani DiFranco, Jerry Douglas, Pepe Romero, John McLaughlin, Vernon Reid, Derek Trucks, Kaki King, Andy Summers, The National, Los Lobos, and the North Mississippi Allstars.