• “Phenomenon” Corky Siegel performing two shows at the Varsity

    February 13, 2020
    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.”

    The Varsity is excited to announce the Siegel will perform at the venue on two nights, Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21. 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.

    Catch Corky Siegel at one of two performances: 7 p.m. Friday, March 20; and Saturday, March 21. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 night of show and $20 for students with ID. Tickets are available in advance at Plaza Records, 816 E. Main St., Carbondale, and at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but can be purchased on the night of the show when doors and the bar open at 6.

    The Varsity is downtown Carbondale at 418 S. Illinois Ave. For more information, go to www.thevarsitycenter.org.