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Virtual: Historic Instruments of Illinois

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From homemade dulcimers and fiddles to mass produced guitars, banjo’s, mandolins and pianos, Illinois - and specifically Chicago - has been deeply involved in the creation and production of stringed musical instruments. After the Great Fire of 1871, as Chicago began to re-build, it quickly became a national center in musical instrument manufacturing, sales and distribution, particularly with the introduction of the mail order catalogs like Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Wards.

From well known name brands like Lyon and Healey, Washburn, Regal, Kay and Harmony to a wealth of small but influential shops such as the Larson Brothers, it was Chicago, more than any other city in the world, that put musical instruments in the hands of players of all levels.

Join American roots musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo who has restored and collected Illinois stringed instruments for over 30 years. Chris will discuss the development of Illinois instrument building as he performs period music on over a dozen historic examples of these important instruments, from handmade masterpieces to $3.00 mail order gems!

This event is being hosted in partnership with the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.

Thursday, January 27, 7 p.m. This is a free virtual program using Zoom.

Please register and enter your e-mail address for instructions and Zoom connection details.