Oral History

Listen to the history of Nature’s Table from the people who played or worked there. If you have memories about Nature’s Table and would like to be interviewed, please contact us.

Russell CheathamC-U resident and Hammond B3 organ player, best known as the leader of Sorgum, a C-U jazz/funk band (with Chuck Tripp (g), Walter “Jelly” Hines (d) and Scott Frillman (sax), from 1981-1992, which played regularly at the Table. Interviewed by Jeff Machota at the Urbana Free Library, July 22, 2016.

Joan Hickey – Pianist and performer at Nature’s Table for nearly the entire eleven years of the Table’s existence. Interviewed by Jeff Machota on March 14, 2017 at Smith Music Hall on the University of Illinois campus.

Jeff Machota – Nature’s Table employee, 1985 – 1991. Interviewed August 19, 2015 by Sean Kutzko at Jeff’s home.

Shelley Masar – Wife of Terry Masar. Co-Owner of Nature’s Table. Interviewed August 19, 2016 by Jeff Machota.

Tom Paynter – Keyboardist/flutist who played the Table during the “later” period (1987-1991). Interviewed November 30, 2016 by Jeff Machota.

Guido Sinclair – Saxophonist and leader of the Happy Blues Band and Guido Sinclair’s Variety In Motion. Interviewed May 1987 by Paul Boyev in Paul’s car outside Guido’s home.

Joel Spencer – Chicago drummer, student member of John Garvey’s jazz band at the U of I in the 1970s. Now on faculty at the U of I Music Department. Interviewed by Jeff Machota on February 21, 2017 at Smith Music Hall on th University of Illinois campus.

Laurie Solomon – Longtime C-U resident and Nature’s Table employee in the early 1980s. Interviewed July 7, 2016 by Jeff Machota.

Brad Wheeler – saxophonist from the Table’s early period (early 1980s). Interviewed September 16, 2016 by Jeff Machota.


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