Jazz Upfront | WGLT

Jazz Upfront

Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials headline the Front Street Music Festival August 17.
Paul Natkin

Lil' Ed Williams and his band The Blues Imperials emulate the Chicago houserockin’ style of fellow Alligator Records great Hound Dog Taylor and Lil' Ed's uncle, Delmark Records artist J.B. Hutto.

Tony Young, center on vocals, and Baaad Boyz play Jazz UpFront tonight
Baaad Boyz

The leader of Springfield's soul/R&B/funk mostly cover band Baaad Boyz said a special ingredient separates them from other area bands.

Patrick Sweany
Joshua Black Wilkins

When bluesman Patrick Sweany plays Jazz UpFront on Saturday night, he'll be sporting a new release, and a new recording he says gave him goosebumps during the recording process.

Neal Francis playing keyboard on his new single "These Are The Days"
Neal Francis / YouTube

Chicago keyboard player Neal Francis said he was knocked out by rootsy New Orleans and Chicago music at a very young age.

Brandon DaZ (Right) with Futuristic.
Ryan Kindig

A hip-hop artist with roots in Bloomington said he wanted to dig into an emotion on his latest EP not often expressed in rap music. Nor by men … at least in public.

Groovement performing at the Caloundra Music Festival in Queensland, Australia.
Martin Schmidt

Groovement describes its sound as “what you’d hear if Led Zeppelin caught a Soul Train with Grouplove and they threw a party while headin’ down the tracks to Motown.” The six-man funk-rock outfit based in Fayetteville, Ark., makes a stop at Jazz UpFront in Bloomington on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The Smokers Blues Band at Buddy Guy's Legends
The Smokers Blues Band

Peoria's The Smokers Blues Band hopes its blues-rock music can be part of a broader scene helping unite deep political divisions among Central Illinois music fans.

Billy Branch
Melodie Strowbridge

Billy Branch is a Chicago bluesman through and through. But he says many bands we now call classic rock had as much an influence on his sound as did the blues legends that became his mentors.