Free folk music fest in DeKalb June 21

Online Staff Report

DEKALB, Ill. — The sounds of bluegrass, folk and Celtic music will fill the air around the historic Gurler House in DeKalb, Ill., from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 21.

This summer marks the 14th Annual Gurler Heritage Association Folk Music Fest on the shady lawn of the historic Gurler House, 205 Pine St., in DeKalb. The afternoon will offer something for everyone.

Annie Glidden” (Folk Music Fest founder Cheryl Johnson) will return as emcee, and this year’s event will feature three free performances: Jim Kanas (noon-1:45 p.m.); Balika & Friends (2-2:45 p.m.); and Last Night’s Fun (3-4:45 p.m.).

Kicking off the festival at noon with two sets, headliner and renowned jazz, folk and bluegrass guitarist Jim Kanas will perform. Kanas is an American folk musician, jazz guitarist and producer with the Illinois Arts Council’s ArtsTour program who has conducted numerous school music residencies for over 20 years. He was featured this past spring on WTTW11, Chicago, PBS Arts Across Illinois and has performed at colleges, festivals and broadcast medium throughout Illinois.

From 2 to 2:45 p.m., Dave Balika and Friends will delight the audience with their enchanting dulcimer-led melodies. Closing the line-up from 3 to 4:45 p.m. are Last Night’s Fun, who will perform traditional Celtic music and song. The band features local musicians performing a variety of early traditional music including dance tunes such as reels, jigs, waltzes, hornpipes, and vocal selections and ballads with interesting harmonies. Performances are upbeat, fun-filled, varied, audience engaging and enjoyable for all ages. Instrumentalists include fiddle, concertina, flute, fife, guitar, banjo, mandolin and bodhran.

In addition to the great group of performers, there will be a food tent featuring Chicago-style hot dogs from Inboden’s Meat Market, chips, home-baked treats, and cold drinks. Food, commemorative button, and T-shirt sales support the upkeep of the historic Gurler House and community programming offered on site.

This family-friendly, open-air event is supported in part by a grant from the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture Fund and sponsored by WNIJ public radio, with additional support by Big John. It is free and open to the public, although donations to support the historic house will be appreciated.

Bring blankets or chairs and spend a musical afternoon on the shade-dappled lawn. In the event of rain, the event will be at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, 158 N. Fourth St., DeKalb ( For more information, call (815) 758-4897 or visit the Gurler Heritage Association website at

Posted June 18, 2014

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