Not only did they seek Robinson's musical contribution, but his ideas for other local artists to play the show.
"They approached me about headlining and also said, 'Who else could we get in the community that might play?'" Robinson said. "I suggested that maybe we get the Average House Band because they're such a cross section of the community. Those guys come from here, more so than I do."
The longtime community favorites have been reuniting once a year for each of the last four years. Although they already had a pair of reunion shows in August, they agreed to play ArtsFest as the opener of the "Tad Robinson and Friends."
The show will serve as the finale of ArtsFest Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Green Center for the Performing Arts.
"I said, 'Why don't we get the people that really have deep roots here and expose the students to some of the locals?'" Robinson said. "They did that thing at the Inn at DePauw in August, and there must have been 300 or 400 people there."
In addition to a reunion of the House Band will be Robinson's show featuring his full band. Generally, local Robinson shows at the Jazz and Blues Festival or at venues like Old Topper or the Swizzle Stick have featured a small ensemble: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and harmonica.
However, Robinson's albums have a much fuller sound, with the full horn sections reminiscent of classic soul records of the 1960s and '70s. The DePauw show will be more on par with the records.
"It'll be a lot more similar to the discs, where there's a lot more horns. We'll be presenting the tunes more in their full impact," Robinson said. "We figured we'd do something special."
The closing-night party is open to all and will feature a cash bar.