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Rootabaga Jazz Festival


Andrew Crawford

Music Administrator and Managing Director of Jazz Year

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Envelopes filled with lyrics for the choir.

The 2021 Knox-Rootabaga Festival from April 13-17, 2021 features Ryan Cohan's "Originations," Soul Message, Tito Carrillo along with the Knox Alumni Big Band, the Faculty and Friends Combo, and the Knox Jazz Ensemble.

Donate to Rootabaga or purchase tickets

April 13, 2021

Tito Carrillo School Tour group
United High School
Free and open to the public

The Tito Carrillo School Tour group will perform a concert as part of the Rootabaga Jazz School Tour.  On Tuesday, April 13th and Wednesday, April 14th, the Tito Carrillo group will tour seven area schools performing for elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Tito Carrillo is a trumpeter, educator, bandleader, composer, and arranger, and since 1996 he has been a fixture in the Chicago jazz and Latin music scenes. The list of artists he has performed, recorded, and toured with is as varied as his skill set: including Kurt Elling, Tito Puente and Phil Collins.

April 15, 2021

Faculty and Friends Combo
Fat Fish Pub, 158 N. Broad St., Galesburg
Admission: $5, Knox Students free with ID

The Faculty and Friends performance features Knox's accomplished jazz faculty and local jazz musicians from the vibrant live music community of central Illinois.

April 16, 2021

Knox Alumni Big Band 
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Soul Message
Fat Fish Pub, 158 N. Broad St., Galesburg
Admission: $10/Knox Students free with ID

Soul Message has a soulful and infectious style crafted around funky grooves, and its sound is rooted in the tradition of great Hammond B3 organists like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland and Groove Holmes. The Soul Message Band consists of Chris Foreman, the Chicago-based and nationally celebrated Hammond B3 Jazz organist; He and drummer  Greg Rockingham have an over twenty-five year history of performing and collaborating in several group settings, from Chicago to Jazz Clubs and Arenas all around the world as both headliners and in support of artists like Steely Dan. Other band members include guitarist Lee Rothenberg an in-demand sideman in the Chicago Jazz scene and saxophonist Geof Bradfield.  

April 17, 2021

Rootabaga Kids: Soul Message
Galesburg Public Library
Free and open to the public

This free family friendly event features the soulful Chicago-Based organ quartet, Soul Message. This promises to be a very engaging and entertaining experience for the whole family.

April 17, 2021

Ryan Cohan's "Originations" and the Knox Jazz Ensemble
Orpheum Theatre, 57 S. Kellogg St., Galesburg
5:00 p.m.
Free floor & balcony seats • $20 reserved mezzanine

Motéma recording artist Ryan Cohan is a composer of keen intellect and a powerfully expressive pianist. Recognized for his “ingenuity and virtuosity," his versatility and inventive vision have distinguished him as a vital original voice amongst the elite pianist/composers in today’s global music scene.

Originations is Cohan’s latest original multi-movement composition and soon-to-be-released recording. Scored for a chamber jazz ensemble consisting of Cohan’s long-standing sextet plus string quartet, Originations dynamically synthesizes Middle Eastern and other World music influences, classical compositional elements and improvisation.

Cohan has embarked upon multiple U.S. Department of State-sponsored tours in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of The Rhythm Road program. Leading his quartet, Cohan traveled across Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East performing and collaborating with local musicians with the mission of fostering empathy and connection between cultures through music.

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Printed on Thursday, August 6, 2020