Editor's note: Director's Chair is a column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on upcoming shows.Sunday marks the kick-off to the Vilar Performing Arts Center's (VPAC's) 2012 summer concert series with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Summer has become synonymous with big name concert artists at the Vilar, and are a wonderful complement to the variety of talent and performances we bring to the valley throughout the year. This coming winter season, we'll celebrate 15 years since the Vilar Center opened its doors to the Vail Valley community and its visitors. We've come a long way since that first show, and since that time I am often asked "Which performance have you booked that has been the biggest win for the Vilar?" That's a difficult question. Everyone has their own idea of what the best or favorite performance is for them, and my top choices range from world-class opera singers and orchestras, to renowned dance companies and big name musicians from nearly every genre. As I've mentioned before in these articles, some of the acts I've been most proud to bring to our community are not household names but truly talented artists working at the highest level in their respective fields.As far as big name concerts go, the ultimate win would have to be booking a Beatle, and this summer, we arrived. Ringo Starr & His All-Starr band take our stage on July 10 for their only Colorado performance of the season, and Ringo's first performance in the state in the last 12 years. I'd be remiss if I did not share the excitement of our collective Vilar Center team the day we landed this show.While I was thrilled to have Ringo Starr & His All-Starr band on our concert series, imagine my elation when we added another high profile act to the lineup for the very next evening; the Dukes of September. While some will not recognize that name, I feel certain that you know the players - Michael McDonald, Donald Fagen and Boz Scaggs ... and most definitely, some of the bands they've created or been a part of: The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and The Steve Miller Band.With the Dukes of September, we're bringing the rare experience of three American music legends to one stage for one performance. Their Rhythm Review will showcase a 12-piece band in total - an extremely unusual offering for a 530-seat venue. Singularly, each of these three performers has the power vocals, impeccable sound and enough hits to warrant an individual performance. Together, they perform not as three solo artists but as a true band whose shared, simple passion for great music comes through. Come to this show on July 11, and I promise you more than a blend of old hits, but a remarkable experience under the banner of three iconic musicians. Visit our website at www.vilarpac.org, call the box office at 970-845-TIXS (8497) or come on by the theater (under the ice rink in Beaver Creek village) to learn more about our summer 2012 concert series. I look forward to seeing you at the Vilar Center this summer.
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