Ellnora The Guitar Festival

Welcome to ELLNORA!

Mike Ross

Each edition of this one-of-a-kind festival is an experiment in joy and discovery across multiple traditions, legacies, and geographies. An exuberant celebration of the art of the guitar writ large. Above all, it’s a three-day affirmation of the human spirit, and we could not be more pleased that you’ve chosen to join us.

Thanks to the beautiful generosity of our sponsors and volunteers, the dedication of our professional staff, the brilliant artistic insights of our longtime collaborator and dear colleague David Spelman, and—foremost—the fabulously gifted artists of ELLNORA 2015 themselves, these three days hold extraordinary potential.

On behalf of the University of Illinois, the College of Fine + Applied Arts, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, welcome to the revelry. We hope you enjoy every minute of it!

All good things,

Mike Ross

Mike Ross
Director, Krannert Center

Welcome back!

David Spelman

ELLNORA is a vivid celebration of music and musicians from around the globe, and I hope you’ll agree that our vision for the festival is as bold as ever. As you’ll notice, this year we are featuring returning artists, as well as many new faces. They come from all over the US, as well as Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, Africa, India, Spain, and China. We are thrilled and honored that they’ve chosen to embrace this unlikely and ambitious idea of a guitar summit on the prairie.

The art critic and curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist has said his process is “see art, meet the artists, produce their shows, use these shows to meet more artists, produce their shows in turn.” He could easily be describing the Krannert Center team’s and my approach in curating this festival. It’s a great privilege to work like this, and I am grateful for the tremendous support we receive from the University of Illinois, Krannert Center’s steadfast individual and corporate donors, and every one of you who plans to attend ELLNORA with open ears.

Krannert Center Director Mike Ross likes to remind us that the Center is not just a facility, but an idea—at once a public square, a sanctuary, a classroom, and a laboratory. He is an inspiration to work with because he practices what he preaches. In fact, the whole team at Krannert Center embraces this philosophy. They are a pleasure to work with and second to none.

Looking forward to seeing you again!

David Spelman

David Spelman
Artistic Advisor, ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival
Founder and Artistic Director, New York Guitar Festival