Prior to Dr. Karel Lidral’s arrival at the University of Maine in 1993, he taught at both Augustana College (in Rock Island, IL) and Plymouth State University (in NH). He received his B.S., M.S., and Ed.D. degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
As an accomplished performing artist, teacher, conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, he has shared the concert stage with such jazz greats as Red Rodney, Jon Faddis, Clark Terry, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Dennis Wilson, Laurence Hobgood, Jeff Stitely, and Chuck Israels, to name a few; and, during a two-year period during which he lived in New York, he performed as a regular member of pioneer jazz organ legend Jack McDuff’s quintet. He has also performed with the bands of Les Elgart, Warren Covington, Ray McKinley, Dick Hames, Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, Vicki Carr, Kate Smith, The Temptations, The Fifth Dimension, Manhattan Transfer, Wayne Newton, and Englebert Humperdinck, among others; and with comedians Sammy Kaye, Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Yackov Smirnoff, Henny Youngman, and Pete Barbutti. He also has a film credit, appearing as a clarinetist in the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the movie BIX.
He appears on recordings with the Jeff Stitely Quartet (Chameleon Eyes, 1993), Birdhouse (Stumped, 2002), McDuff (Kisses, 1980), the fusion group Noble Spirit (Journey of a Noble Spirit, 1993), and the University of Illinois Jazz Band Number One (The Big World of Jazz, 1977). The Lidral Trio was the house band on The Nite Show, starring Dan Cashman, for a 5-year period, broadcast from the studios of Fox 22 TV (and previously on WBGR-TV).
Currently, he performs regularly in the Lidral Duo (with Terry Lidral on keyboards), and the Lidral Trio (with Terry Lidral on keyboards and Arthur Lidral on drums). The Lidral Duo (which, in existence since 1988, is the prototype for the Chamber Jazz Ensemble) initiated the weekly Chamber Jazz Concert series at the Memorial Union in the spring of 2003.