Rodrigo Villanueva playing drums

Rodrigo Villanueva

Rodrigo Villanueva's I Remember Bill — Cafe Coda — Saturday, December 4, 2021 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 11/10/2021

If there is a fundamental theme to Rodrigo Villanueva’s career in music, perhaps it is in cycles of ambition, struggle, and success. From his beginnings as a successful young drummer in Mexico, through his education at North Texas State, to his Jazz Studies professorship at Northern Illinois University, these cycles continue — and include an ambitious performing schedule.


Tom and Dave

BlueStem Jazz's David Stone and Thomas Ferrella

Interview date: 11/08/2021

On this episode we’re talking to Thomas Ferrella and David Stone who founded the non-profit, volunteer-led BlueStem Jazz in 2019, although their history of booking creative, improvised music goes back to 2016. As our conversation makes clear, they’re devoted to this music, they believe in the benefits that it brings to the community, and they’re dedicated to supporting passionate improvising musicians. Dave and Tom both retired from demanding, high-powered careers; they’ve long been movers and shakers. On this program they’ll detail their philosophies about this music and the goals they have for the future of BlueStem Jazz. 


Arun Luthra playing saxophone with other musicians

Arun Luthra

Arun LuthraThe North Street Cabaret — Saturday, November 13, 2021 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 11/03/2021

With Arun Luthra multiculturalism is a fundamental tenet of his artistic expression, but it also informs his ethos as a person. Raised in a family about as international as they come, it’s second nature. While his residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison concludes in a few weeks, interested folks still have a couple of opportunities to take in what he has to offer — including at the BlueStem presentation of his Madison-Konnakol project — before he jets off to New York to resume his full professional schedule.