Folk/blues musicians to perform at Uptown Bill's

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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At 7 p.m. Saturday, Uptown Bill’s Coffeehouse, 730 S. Dubuque St., will present musicians Rick Vornbrock and Jake Ilika. Ilika was one of the performers at the 101st birthday of Bill Sackter, celebrated last April.

“When I’m solo, my music is folk- and blues-based,” Ilika said. “I’ve coined a term that hasn’t caught on yet called ‘MinnesotAmericana.’ ”

The Minnesota resident got involved in music early on. His mother played for their church as far back as he can recall, and Ilika was often in musical productions.

“I got a guitar for Christmas in eighth grade, and I haven’t put it down since,” he said. “Along the way I learned keys, trumpet, some drums, and now I’ve been playing pedal steel guitar for about two years.”

That same desire to play and perform led the artist to release his first solo album over this past year. On top of that, he has also performed for audiences at increasingly better venues.

“I love seeing them and feeling something from live music, and it’s a special feeling to be able to connect with an audience and do that,” Ilika said. “It used to rarely happen — that performer/audience nirvana where I play, they clap, I talk, they laugh, and everyone’s happy.”

— by Isaac Hamlet

Concert featuring Rick Vornbrock and Jake Ilika
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque
Admission: $5 to $10 suggested cover

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