The Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series will feature classic songs from one of the most popular duos in music history with Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience, performed by brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie, on October 21. The show begins at 7:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.
“We’ve always been attracted to harmony vocals,” Jeb said. “The first town we grew up in was a town called Brillion, Wisc., a town of about 1,500. There was this place there that had an ancient jukebox that they hadn’t really changed the music on in a long time. So the first things that we were really influenced by were the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, and all the stuff that was from the early ’50s halfway through the early ‘60s.”
Although they have been performing for more than 30 years, the idea for a show featuring the music of Simon and Garfunkel didn’t emerge until more recently.
“The show kind of evolved,” Jock said. “Somewhere along the way, the first Simon and Garfunkel tune we learned was ‘The Boxer.’ It worked out so well that we started learning more, and one day we just sort of woke up and said, ‘Hey, tribute performances are a respectable thing these days; we should do a Simon and Garfunkel show.’ And it took off from there.”
While the Guthries have been performing this show for several years, they said they’ve never actually met either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel.
“The closest we’ve come is sending [Paul’s] office licensing fees for the CDs we sell,” Jock said. “I do think that if he heard what we do, he’d realize the care and how we treat the material like we’re museum archivists.”
The brothers said the audience shouldn’t expect the type of show where the performers are closely imitated, but rather, they treat the show as an homage to Simon and Garfunkel’s music while staying true to their own style. They also enjoy a kind of dialogue with the audience.
“We have been told that our audiences feel like they know us by the end of the show,” Jock explained.
In turn, the approach of being themselves on stage has helped the pair evolve and develop as performers.
“That’s one of the main things that we are so thrilled about,” Jeb said. “When you’re younger, you sort of have a one-dimensional view of what a performance is; you think you go up on stage and you play songs to someone and they like it and clap and everything is great. But really, it’s a much more interactive situation than that, and we’ve sort of embraced that aspect more and more the more we have performed.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be the highlighted community partner for the event. The community partner program, a part of the ICC Guest Artists Series, highlights a non-profit or community organization which has ties to the Guest Artists Series performance.
Patrons at the event who donate to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be entered in a drawing for two free tickets to a future ICC Guest Artists Series event.
In addition, patrons who attend the event will have the opportunity to provide input about future shows.
As it does for all ICC Guest Artists Series events, CityLink provides Park and Ride service from Peoria for the performance. Buses leave Evergreen Square near the former Lenscrafters building at 6:45 pm and transport passengers directly to the ICC Performing Arts Center. Buses return to Evergreen Square immediately after the show. Fares are $1 one-way. Senior citizens 65 years of age and older with verification can ride for 50 cents one way.
The performance is presented by the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.
Tickets to the show cost $20 for the general public and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at ArtsAtICC.com or by calling the box office at (309) 694-5136.