Interactive Library Concerts and Lectures


Meet Your Neighbor’s Folk Music (tm)
by Jutta & the Hi-Dukes (tm)


A cultural adventure in music and dance for all ages


Librarian doing a video review of the Hi-Dukes
Click to see a librarian’s review

LACONI YSS (Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois Youth Services Section) included the Hi-Dukes in their “Best of the Best” list. The reason for this is well-illustrated by a librarian’s enthusiastic review of the band following their concert there:


“Go around the world in less than eighty minutes with Jutta & the Hi-Dukes. They’ll take you on a trip to Europe. You get Gypsy music, music from Spain, Israel, everything. Finland! What more could you ask for? Not only is it entertaining and educational but you get up and dance and get a little sweaty, which is awesome! It’s just a really good program that actually gets people off their seat. And here [at the library], how often do we do that? We have book clubs and discussions and movies. How often do we get the chance to get up and dance? Book them! Amazing!” — Enthusiastic librarian


Hi-Dukes concert medley video
See the band in action on our video page!

Linda Olsen (Public Relations and Development Officer, Oak Lawn Public Library) amplifies that librarian’s feelings, saying: “I would highly recommend Jutta & the Hi-Dukes to anyone looking for lively renditions of authentic European ethnic music. Jutta & the Hi-Dukes have an exceptional stage presence with plenty of talent and personality. The library has received an overwhelming deluge of praises and positive feedback from many of the 148 people who attended. What a delightful afternoon of music!”


Carol Carter (Lake Bluff Public Library’s Head of Adult Programming) wrote: “Your concert was delightful and so entertaining.”


Librarian M. Wegnzyn (Flossmoor Public Library) summed it up, saying: “A musical treat for the whole family to enjoy.”


Living, interactive culture


Awareness of the world, society, and history all increase when the Hi-Dukes introduce folks to the traditional music and dance of over twenty cultures, such as those of the Balkan lands.


Gorgeous musical scales like Hijaz and Sabach ride on the asymmetrical rhythms of the Balkans while the Hi-Dukes play traditional ethnic instruments, like the Bulgarian end-blown flute, Greek baglama, Middle-eastern drums, and world-famous ocarina alongside the violin, mandolin, and guitar. Vocals are sung with up to three-part harmonies. Audience members learn dances, sing simple songs in non-English languages, and drum along on the band’s percussion.


Flexible content and program length to fit your library’s needs and interests.


With a repertoire of about 400 melodies and 50 dances from over 20 cultures, the Hi-Dukes program is very flexible with what can be presented. Programs can focus on a specific area of interest such as Chanukah / Christmas ethnic holiday music as seen below, or on a specific ethnicity like the Greek, Gypsy, Jewish, Scandinavian, or Balkan cultures. Special all-American music programs are also available.


So, whether your library needs a group that can highlight the theme of your reading series or needs a program that focuses on a specific culture, we are happy to talk about how a Hi-Dukes presentation will enhance the experience of your patrons.


Two darabuka drums smashing into the main title for the Hi-Dukes Christmas and Chanukah music medley video
Click to see a Christmas and Chanukah video

Discover Three Continents of Christmas and Chanukah music

Jutta & the Hi-Dukes are your travel guides for the Holiday season. The eclectic band takes audiences on a three-continent holiday tour and gets audiences singing and drumming along to a very old French Noel as well as giggling to the humorous version of “Deck The Halls” written by Walt Kelly for his famous cartoon strip “Pogo.” Folks will learn to count to eight in Ladino (the Spanish-related language of the Sephardic Jews) as part of a Bosnian Chanukah song and then find out about the Julenisse of Danish Christmas tradition. Plus, folks will have the chance to do some simple, fun traditional ethnic circle dances. Blending Winter Seasonal music with the holiday music of Jews and Christians makes this program a wonderful end-of-the-year change of pace.


Interactive history lectures for adult audiences


Call for details (847) 864–1022 between 10 AM and 10 PM C.S.T.

In addition to youth and family programming, Jutta & the Hi-Dukes offers interactive lectures with a number of interesting topics geared towards adult audiences.


For the 200th anniversary of Illinois incorporating as a state, the band developed: 200 Years of Ethnic Illinois: A Look at the Cultures Which Shaped Our State.


This lecture sweeps across the prairie of Illinois history giving you a bird’s eye view of culture in this state. Since its incorporation in 1818 and even before then, Illinois has been a crossroads for water and rail travel, attracting people from across the world. Your patrons will hear how ethnic groups and their skills created the conditions that set the stage for the next wave of immigrants to arrive. The audience will also experience some of the traditional music these immigrants brought with them from Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Bulgaria, and many other cultures. In this fascinating exploration of Illinois, just as in all the band’s other programs, everyone is invited to participate by singing, drumming, and even dancing with the band.


Also in harmony with the band’s multi-cultural repertoire, the band offers Klezmer in America.


In this history lecture audiences discover what Klezmer is, how it came to America, and how it helped shape American popular music. The story comes to life via the engaging examples of Klezmer tunes chosen to underline the spoken content. Audiences will learn how Big Band leaders like Benny Goodman incorporated Klezmer into America’s unique musical style, Swing. For those who enjoy direct involvement, folks can drum along on band-supplied percussion and the band will lead folks through a Klezmer dance or two.


Another intersection of two cultures is looked at in The Long Road: the shared path of two historically wandering cultures. The Roma (popularly known as “gypsies”) and the Jews have, as primarily landless cultures, faced many of the same challenges. This musical lecture takes a look at the individual histories of these two groups as well as examining how they have interacted together and how they have been treated by the world at large.




Since 1990, this Evanston, IL band has toured in the United States, Canada, and Europe performing on major festival stages, at schools, universities, libraries, corporate events, and private parties. Two members, Jutta Distler and Terran Doehrer, teach dance at the Da Vinci Waldorf School of Wauconda, IL, are instructors at the Arcturus Teacher Training Program for Waldorf schools, and taught dance classes at the Chicago Waldorf School for six years.


Audience participation at various Libraries


Hi-Dukes at Winettka Library with audience drumming

“[Their] music is exciting, and listeners will find it hard to keep from leaping up to dance.” — Natalie Wainwright, Arts & Life reviewer, Round Table


“Their artistry and sense of musical history is infused in their delicious tracks. I like [their] intelligent approach to music as well as the old world flavor of what [they] do.” — Terry Loncaric, an Illinois entertainment writer and poet


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Terran @ HiDukes dot com / ModalMusic @ juno dot com / Info @ ModalMusic dot com
(847) 864–1022 from 10 AM to 10 PM C.S.T.
Modal Music, Inc., P.O. Box 6473 Evanston, IL 60204-6473 U.S.A.