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Beaver Creek Rodeo wrangles up family fun

Thursdays mean rodeo days as the Beaver Creek Rodeo returns for its 18th season. Complete with bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding, families can enjoy this western tradition and get a taste of true rodeo fun.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the rodeo action begins at 6 p.m. Get there early to enjoy complimentary kids activities like face painting, pony rides, a bounce house, a mechanical bull and archery.

There are plenty of food vendors on hand so you can feed the family before or during the rodeo as well.

The enthusiastic announcer and rodeo clown will keep you entertained as well as explain each event and this is not just a spectator sport, the audience can participate as well. Mutton Bustin’ is open to kids under 50 pounds and under 50 inches in height. It’s capped at 15 kids and the one who holds onto the sheep the longest wins.

The Calf Scramble is open to 100 kids aged 5-12. The kids chase the calves and try to grab the ribbon tied to the tails. Adults can take part in the Burro Racing. Here, teams of three people ride, push and pull the donkey from one end of the arena to the other end. Did we mention that these donkeys can be stubborn?   

Last year, Beaver Creek debuted the Gold Dust Rodeo Festival, the official pre-party of the Rodeo. From 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on rodeo days, the Beaver Creek Plaza will host vendors, exhibits, music and family-friendly activities. Here you can meet Bogart, a “friendly” bull, try your hand at calf roping and board a complimentary shuttle bus to the rodeo grounds in Avon. 

Once the Beaver Creek Rodeo wraps up, you can return to Beaver Creek Village for an after party. Western-style dancing and crafted cocktails and mocktails will be on hand for the whole family to enjoy. The Walker Williams Band will provide the music this Thursday.For more information, including details on the Gold Spur Club, which provides premium seating, two complimentary drinks and small bites at the rodeo, visit www.beavercreek.com/rodeo.

Steve Martin, “Tosca”, art shows and more: Tricia’s weekend picks for 7/12/19

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Whistle Pig Vail

Whistle Pig Vail returns this weekend for its second year, and will kick it off with a little comedy and music with Steve Martin and Martin Short.

The show is titled, “Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t,” and comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short will present new material in a variety of musical sketches as only those two can do, along with insights about their amazing careers in show business. Joining the comedic duo will be Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers. The tour also features renowned pianist and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” band member Jeff Babko.

Whistle Pig Vail is a summer-long music series that brings a new era of headliner music to the iconic Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Some of the other acts lined up to perform at Whistle Pig Vail include Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Bon Iver and The Steve Miller Band. The series is booked in collaboration with AEG Presents, one of the largest live music companies in the world, and will bring well-known rock, pop, country and bluegrass icons to Vail for shows throughout the summer.

Expect to be fully entertained during this first show of the Whistle Pig Vail series. Tickets are $65 for lawn seating and range from $179.50-$299.50 for reserved seating. Go to www.grfavail.com for more information.

Bravo! Vail presents “Tosca”

The Philadelphia Orchestra is quickly winding down its stay in Vail, but before it goes, it has a big weekend that includes a premier opera production of Puccini’s “Tosca”.

In addition to the opera, which opens on Thursday and also runs on Saturday, Friday’s Bravo! Vail performance will feature the sounds of Mozart and Rachmaninoff. With conductor Yannick Nezet-Sequin conducting and Seong-Jin Cho on piano, listen to Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor” and learn why Cho feels playing the piano is like singing and why he thinks Mozart is a genius. Read the program notes to get special insights on the performers and the pieces that are performed throughout the season.

Saturday night, sit back and be treated to Bravo! Vail’s most ambitious project to date. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater will be transformed as a fully staged production of Puccini’s “Tosca” debuts in Vail. “Tosca” is a thrilling melodrama set in Rome during the Napoleonic wars. Follow the twists and turns around this fatal love triangle in this must-see event.

There’s been a lot of attention surrounding this event. To get the audiences ready for this performance Bravo! Vail along with the Vail Symposium have hosted various talks including a conductor’s guide and an immersive look at this opera earlier this week. Take advantage of opportunities to meet the director and cast on Friday or attend the pre-performance talk on Saturday. For more information, visit www.bravovail.org.

FAC at Beaver Creek

Friday’s mean FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) and Beaver Creek invites you to wind down after a day of activities at Village Plaza. From 4:30-7:00 each Friday through Aug. 23, sip on an ice cold Stella Artois or Breckenridge Brewery beer, or cheers to the day’s events with a glass of wine with friends and family while enjoying live music.

While you sit back and relax, the kids can keep going with lawn games like giant Jenga, Connect Four and ice skating from 6 to 10 p.m. Local caricaturist Ken Carpenter will be on hand as well if you want a comical portrait created of your family through his eyes.

Jade Vases, a 5-person indie band out of Denver, will be playing tunes under the pergola and will fill the Plaza Pavilion with music to get your weekend started.

For more information and the musical line up for the rest of the summer, check out www.beavercreek.com/events.

Art on the Rockies

For nearly a decade, Art on the Rockies has brought in talented artists for a 3-day event showcasing their craft in Edwards. Art on the Rockies is an opportunity to see new art, talk to artists and attain artwork at all price points.

This juried show brings in artistic styles ranging from sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, mixed metal, glass, jewelry and more. Over 130 artists from around the country converge near the Colorado Mountain College campus surrounded by a gorgeous backdrop of scenic views around Edwards.

Many of the participating artists also are known from renowned shows such as La Quinta Arts Festival in Palm Springs, CA, and Celebration for the Arts in Scottsdale, AZ.

On Friday, enjoy a little champagne during the opening reception at 4 p.m. On Sunday, the silent auction fundraiser closes at 3 p.m. All proceeds benefit free art programming for local youth.

In addition to meeting the artists and viewing the art, food and beverages will be available for purchase and a kids zone will be set up for aspiring youngsters who want to create some art at the event. For more information, visit www.artontherockies.org.

Eagle’s 2nd Friday ARTwalks and Sidewalk Sale

Speaking of art, Eagle has embraced the second Friday ARTwalks since they began in November, the event is growing to two days this weekend. Eagle’s 2nd Friday ARTwalk and Sidewalk Sale brings in local fine artist’s tents and exhibits, interactive art activities, plein air painters, food vendors, Quiet Kat demo rides, and a chance to meet local alpacas and goats.

There will also be live music at various businesses on Broadway including ARTSPaCE, Bonfire Brewery, Everyday Outfitters, and Petals of Provence.

“July’s ARTwalk will be our ninth consecutive 2nd Friday event. We started with three art gallery venues, including ARTSPaCE workshop+gallery, Vail Valley Art Guild gallery and Red Canyon Cafe,” said Tara Novak, artist and owner of ARTSPaCE workshop+gallery and founder of the event.

“This weekend we will have nine galleries and business venues exhibiting our talented local artists plus an Art Market Zone on Broadway with over a dozen local artists showcasing their work in tents on the street.”

It all starts on Friday at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more details, please visit the Facebook page @eagleartscolorado.

Craft beers, chamber orchestras, diving dogs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 6/21/19

Vail Craft Beer Festival

Elevate your craft beer experience by pairing it with a little education and adventure. That’s the idea behind the third annual Vail Craft Beer Classic, happening now through Sunday.

Colorado is known for its legacy of microbreweries throughout the state. The Vail Craft Beer Classic will showcase some of those pioneer breweries like New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Company, which have been around for decades, as well as local establishments like Bonfire Brewing and 7 Hermits Brewing Company. There will be over 300 beer, wine and spirits samples to try throughout the festival.

For those looking to learn, there are various opportunities to geek out with the experts in the industry. Hear about current trends and practices as well as cooking techniques with beer. If being active is more your style, hike, bike or go fly fishing with beer experts while enjoying the Colorado scenery and, of course, beer. This event really blends the best of Colorado, letting you enjoy the outdoors while being inspired by some of the craft brewers’ stories and insights and rewarding yourself with a brew afterward.

The biggest events of the weekend will be the Sip at the Summit on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and the Toast of Vail on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. The Sip at the Summit takes beer enthusiasts on a trip up the gondola, which sits at 10,350 feet above sea level, for gorgeous views and a barbecue dinner. Craft beers from members of the Colorado Brewers Guild will be served. The Toast of Vail brings everyone to the heart of Vail Village to sample over 50 breweries and live bluegrass music.

This is a ticketed event and many of the seminars and other offerings sell out quickly, so take a look at the website and plan your weekend around the Vail Craft Beer Classic. For details visit www.vailcraftbeerclassic.com.

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge

If you missed all the high-flying canine action during the Dock Dogs events at the GoPro Mountain Games, don’t worry, you have another chance to see some talented pooches this weekend. The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge (PPPIDC) returns to Nottingham Park in Avon with competitions held on Friday and Saturday.

The PPPIDC may sound familiar to you because it is a nationally televised series that showcases some of the strongest, fastest and most agile dogs who complete some amazing feats. Nottingham Park and Nottingham Lake provide the perfect backdrop for the obstacle course utilizing the lawn, sand and lake. There will also be diving competitions utilizing Nottingham Lake. The Freestyle Flying Disc competition will showcase the skills of both the dog and the handler with a bit of choreography added to the tossing of the discs.

Although the PPPIDC is open to all breeds of dogs, there is one event that is specific to the Jack Russell terrier breed: Hurdle Racing. Watch as those small terriers chase a lure while jumping over obstacles and going through tunnels in this timed competition.

This event is free and spectator friendly with bleacher seating set up to provide more areas to view the events. For a full list of competitions and practice schedules, visit www.proplan.com/dogs/incredible-dog-challenge.   

Bravo! Vail Music Festival

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival brings a world of music to the Vail Valley this summer. Renown musicians will delight the ears of the seasoned classical music lover to the novice.

Bravo! Vail kicks off its 32nd season this week and will bring in long-standing favorites like the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, but before they do, Bravo! Vail has a special treat. Making its North American debut will be Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin. The leading players from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics come together to perform Mozart and Haydn on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Joining the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin throughout the weekend’s performances will be award-winning violinists Paul Huang and Anne-Sophie Mutter. Even though the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin has been collaborating for over a decade, they both are still known for the distinctive sounds they bring to the stage. The smooth Viennese elegance and the passion of the Berliners will be evident on stage.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the shows regularly start at 6 p.m. Take advantage of the free pre-concert talks that happen throughout the festival. On Saturday, the pre-concert talk, which starts at 5 p.m., will give you insights about the selections of Mozart’s music that will be played that evening and more details about the performers. That added detail is sure to move you to have more affinity for this type of music.

Tickets to Bravo! Vail start at $29 for lawn seats (kids 12 and under get lawn seats for $12) and go up in price from there depending on where you want to sit. For more information, go to www.bravovail.org.

Vail Arts Festival

The 35th annual Vail Arts Festival returns to Lionshead Village this weekend. This three-day event draws over 60 artists covering diverse mediums such as glass, metal works, wood, mixed media, paintings, drawing, fiber, digital art, graphics, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Although some artists will be local, many artists will be coming from 22 other states. There will also be emerging artists present who have earned their opportunity to show their creations at the Vail Arts Festival. Have an emerging artist of your own? The Kids Creative Kingdom returns once again to help foster creativity in the youngsters at the kids’ activity area.

This free event happens rain or shine and opens each day at 9:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday and ends at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and goes until 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, go to www.vailartsfestival.com.

Solstice Trail Run

The longest day of the year is June 21st and to celebrate, the Vail Recreation District is once again hosting its Dynafit Summer Solstice 10k, 5k, and Kids Fun Run at Beaver Creek on Saturday.

John Muir once said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” Follow this environmental philosopher’s advice and hit the trails on Saturday morning, rain or shine. The course will take runners (you can walk it if you need to) up through aspen groves and across the front side of Beaver Creek Mountain before the descent.

Reward yourself with an after-party complete with food, entertainment and prizes for the top finishers at Creekside Park, which also serves at the start and finish area for the race.

Saturday’s run is part of the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series put on by the Vail Rec District each summer. The series showcases some of Colorado’s most iconic trail runs. The Kids Fun Run starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 10k at 9 a.m. and the 5k at 9:15 a.m. Register online or in person. Entry prices vary, but proceeds from this event go to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, which supports Eagle Valley residents in medical crisis. For more information, go to www.vailrec.com.

Father’s Day events, farmers markets, fun runs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 6/14/19

Father’s Day ideas

After celebrating Mother’s Day last month, it’s time to high-five good ol’ dad on Father’s Day this Sunday. According to www.history.com, Father’s Day was inspired by Mother’s Day back in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t deemed a federal holiday until many decades later when President Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972. Rather than getting dad another tie for Father’s Day, check out these different experiences and treat dad this weekend.

Good Eats

  • Maya Mexican Restaurant – On Saturday, bring dad to Maya to taste samplings of brisket, pork shoulder and chicken from their house smoker. Tasty sides will be available as well. Wash it down with free beer from Crazy Mountain Brewery or a 10th Mountain Whiskey Mule for $5. The price is $40 per person with advanced reservations or $50 on the day of the event. Kids age under 12 eat free. Reservations can be made by calling 970-690-5500 or going to www.richardsandoval.com/maya-bc.
  • Game Creek Club – On Sunday morning, bring dad up to 10,000 feet above sea level for brunch. The price is $48 for adults and $28 for kids and that includes the scenic ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola, complimentary shuttle (or you can hike to and from the location) and a gourmet brunch buffet. Reservations are required. Go to www.gamecreekclub.com for information.
  • Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Vail – Have an “Old Fashioned” Father’s Day celebration complete with bourbon-molasses glazed pork ribs with sides. Remedy suggests you pair that with a Remedy barrel-select bourbon Old Fashioned cocktail. Available at the Remedy Bar June 14-16.

Daddy’s Girl Tutu 2k

Take dad for a run around Nottingham Lake in Avon on Sunday during the Daddy’s Girl Tutu 2k, a fun run that takes participants around the lake for two laps before coming back to enjoy some snacks. Tutus are mandatory for dads, but dress up the whole family and get some exercise to kick off Father’s Day.

Registration is at the Nottingham Cabin at 9:30 a.m. and the two-kilometer run will begin at 10 a.m. Register in advance through the Avon Recreation Center and pay $5 or day-of registration is available for $10. Tutus will be available for purchase for $20 or make or bring your own. For more information and to register, visit www.avon.org/163/recreation-Center.

Ride the lift

The Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead opened last week and the Centennial Lift at Beaver Creek opens up this Saturday and Sunday and daily operations start on June 21. Some trail closures are still in effect and you may be surprised how much snow is still holding on in the higher elevations. Don’t forget, if you already purchased your Epic Pass for the 2019-2020 ski and snowboard season, you get to ride the lifts this summer for free. For more information, go to www.vail.com and www.beavercreek.com.

Farmers’ Markets

The markets are back in the valley with fresh produce, live music, art and more. The Minturn Market kicks off its 21st season from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 7, while Vail hosts its Farmers Market and Art Show from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 6.

The Minturn Market is the valley’s original market, and some of the vendors have been showcasing goods there for the past two decades. Minturn is a quaint old railroad town that has its own draw, but really comes alive on Saturdays during the market. The Minturn Market still holds true to its roots and offers plenty of seasonal fresh produce, but has also become more of an artisans’ market. Over 85 vendors offer anything from local wines, clothing to handcrafted toys and wedding gifts.

The kids will love the goat petting zoo and a “build-a-bear” station. Everyone can enjoy live music and vendors serving up breakfast and lunch throughout the event. For more information, visit www.minturnmarket.org.

What started out 18 years ago as a small market with a few tents on East Meadow Drive, the Vail Market and Art Show has grown into the largest farmers market in the Vail Valley. The Vail Farmers Market and Art Show now has over 135 vendor tents showcasing products from Colorado and beyond. Find fabulous fresh produce from around the region, but also check out everything from USDA-certified meats to photography to housewares.

You can buy everything you need to have a fresh dining experience at home, or you can let the professionals take care of the details at the Farm to Table dinners held throughout the summer. These dinners will be held rain or shine and you are seated right on East Meadow Drive. Each dinner will be paired with a wine and beer partner from the Taste of Vail.

The Vail Market and Art Show also almost acts as a second home for the Vail Jazz Festival. The Vail Jazz Festival hosts musicians from noon to 3 p.m. June 30 through Aug. 25. For more information about the Vail Farmers Market and Art Show, go to www.vailfarmersmarket.com.

King of the Mountain Volleyball tournament

You may not think Vail and beach volleyball go together, but for 47 years, the King of the Mountain Volleyball Tournament has been offering divisions of play for junior boys and girls, masters/seniors divisions and co-ed divisions.

The tournament has become a Father’s Day tradition since it has been held over Father’s Day weekend for the last 19 years. Each year they host special father/son and father/daughter divisions on Father’s Day.

In addition to the division play, there is also a free juniors’ beach volleyball clinic on Friday. One of USA Volleyball’s greatest coaches and mentors, John Kessel, will be directing the clinic. Kessel was recently inducted into the USAV Hall of Fame and was the recipient of USAV’s highest award, the Frier Award, earlier this spring.

One of the country’s oldest volleyball events returns to Vail Friday-Sunday. Watch the best players in the region compete or take part in the event. For more information, please visit www.kingofthemountainvolleyball.com.

Tabor Opera House shows

2018 was a very successful year for the Tabor Opera House in Leadville. Once known as the “finest opera house west of the Mississippi,” the structure was about to face extinction. The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation has worked hard to secure funds to help preserve this historic landmark, which was built by Horace Tabor, one of the most well known silver mining kings in the West, in 1879.

Oscar Wilde, Harry Houdini, John Philip Sousa, and Buffalo Bill were among the famous entertainers and speakers who performed at the Tabor Opera House back in its heyday. The opera house has been used continuously since it was built in 1879.

This weekend kicks off the calendar of summer events with bluegrass quartet, Chatham County Line and American singer-songwriter and storyteller, John Craigie on Friday night. The Central City Opera performs “En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words” on Saturday night.

Chatham County Line describes themselves as “an Americana band without drums, or a rock and roll band that doesn’t plug anything in.” Be prepared for three- and four-part harmonies along with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano, steel pedal and bass.

John Craigie is known for his humorous storytelling and serious folk music. The Portland, Oregon native has recently collaborated with Gregory Alan Isakov on his fifth album, “No Rain, No Roses” and was asked by Jack Johnson to be a part of his summer 2017 tour.

An original one-act opera, “En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words” follows the universal theme of adolescents trying to find their own voice and learning who they are amid parental expectations and peer influences.

Help support a historical landmark by attending these shows. For more information, visit www.taboroperahouse.net.

Bindu Memorial Run

On Saturday morning in Minturn, the inaugural Bindu Memorial Run will be held to honor a beloved teacher, Bindu Sky Pomeroy, who died in a backcountry snowboarding accident this past winter. The Bindu Memorial Run offers a 5k run as well as a 5k walk and is the senior project of recent graduate, Caroline Jones.

Jones had taken a few history classes from Pomeroy throughout the years at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (VSSA). She also took mindfulness classes where Pomeroy would teach meditation, yoga and rock stacking on the river.  

“He taught me to find inner peace with myself as well as something called ‘Live Aloha’,” Jones said. “’Live Aloha’ isn’t just a greeting in Hawaii, it means that by having kind, patient, sympathetic, loving actions we can individually and collectively improve our community.”

Proceeds from the event will go to the Bindu Sky Memorial Fund, which will help fund future mindfulness classes at VSSA, help build a memorial in his honor and help fund the Bindu Spirit Award and scholarship, which will be awarded to an athlete who shares Bindu’s spirit.

“He was full of passion and love for the mountains, snowboarding, mindfulness, and especially his students,” Jones said. “Bindu touched the lives of each person he came across and will be forever missed.”

The cost is $26 for adults and $16 for students. The cost will increase by $10 on the day of the event. Online registration closes at midnight on Friday. Day-of registration begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the 5k run at starting 10:30 a.m. and the walk at 10:35 a.m. For more details, go to www.bspmemorial.com/bindumemorialrun.

Ruben Studdard on his ‘American Idol’ run, upcoming Vilar performance

“American Idol” champ Ruben Studdard will perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Ruben Studdard is no stranger to paying tribute to other artists. Throughout his time on the second season of “American Idol,” Studdard performed songs from the likes of the Four Tops, ‘Nsync and the Bee Gees. Now, he’s singing the songs of an R&B legend Luther Vandross.

“Luther is definitely one of the greatest vocalists of all time,” Studdard said over the phone ahead of his performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Tuesday. “Just having the opportunity to listen to his music and understand what it takes to be professional and be at that level; he’s an inspiration to me.”

Studdard first came across Vandross when he was young, as his mother was “one of the biggest Luther fans ever.”

“My house was full of music all the time,” Studdard said. “Neither of my parents were musicians, but they loved music and we have a huge record collection.”

Studdard was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where he began singing at church — gospel singers, he said, are some of the biggest influences on his sound and his career. While studying voice studies at Alabama A&M University, Studdard joined a music fraternity, which led to him performing with local jazz band Just a Few Cats.

It’s no wonder that he eventually made his way onto “American Idol.”

Days on television

“The experience was wonderful,” said Studdard of the television show. “It was a training ground for professionalism, and it was expected at all times. People in the top 10 and beyond were people that exemplified that.”

One such example of the professionalism required was being mindful of performing on television, rather than just in front of an audience.

“Treating the camera like the audience,” Studdard said, “… was an art that took a lot of us a while.”

In his 20s when he auditioned for the show, Studdard went through several rounds of auditions and weeks of waiting before finding out that he made it into the top 30 — a moment that Studdard notes as being one of the most exciting of the experience.

“I remember being at the mall knowing that I had made it into the top 30, and watching the first group of people audition to make (it to the next round),” Studdard said. “I couldn’t wait to leave and perform the next week. I couldn’t tell anyone that I was on the show.”

Despite coming out on top and feeling elated at the beginning of the process, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. At one point well into the show, it was revealed that the R&B crooner was in the bottom two, and risked elimination.

“I think I was almost kind of glad,” Studdard said of the reveal. “I hadn’t been home for so long, it was like ‘alright s–t, I guess it’s time to go home.'”

At that point, Studdard had been performing for nearly six months on the show, which he referred to as having an “intense” atmosphere, leading to him not feeling anxious or worried about his elimination.

Safe to say he’s glad that he managed to stick it out. However, Studdard

Ruben Studdard will perform the hits of one of his biggest musical influences, Luther Vandross.

made a point of staying level headed, keeping any thoughts of winning out of his mind.

“I never let myself think that (I could win) until I was in rehearsals for the finale,” he said. “I remember having a conversation with my brother early on and he said ‘I really think you could win this.’ I said, ‘man, I’m not even thinking about that right now.'”

Better yet, Studdard didn’t even have his heart set on winning.

“The only purpose was to have my voice heard, not to win,” Studdard said. “Then I got to the finale and it was like, ‘I might be able to win.'”

In the finale with Studdard was Clay Aiken, the runner-up. The duo reunited in December for a show called “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show.”

“He and I have been friends for a long time,” Studdard said. “… (working together again) felt like it always does, like a reunion.”


Not just a contest winner

After all of that, a turn on “The Biggest Loser,” a Grammy Award nomination and a handful of film and television roles, Studdard is prepared to get back to his roots and honor Vandross, a legendary soul and R&B artist known primarily for his work in the 1970s and ’80s.

The tour, called Ruben Sings Luther: An Evening of Luther Vandross starring Ruben Studdard, comes after Studdard’s release of a Vandross tribute album.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to go around the country performing his songs and sharing these nostalgic moments with people that remember his music,” he said. “People are receiving it really well. People just love Luther. It’s like going out and doing a tribute to The Beatles.”

Vandross, who passed away in 2005, won eight Grammy Awards and was nominated for 25 others, and possesses a catalog of songs miles long. However, Studdard carefully chose what songs to cover for the album and in his show.

“I watched a lot of his concerts and paid attention to what the fans responded to the most,” he said. His set will include his two favorite Vandross tunes: “Here and Now” and “Never Too Much.”

“His music is an example to all male singers period,” Studdard said. “It’s a guide to what is a great standard of excellence.”

Studdard will perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $38 and can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org or by calling 970-845-8497.

Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at nday@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2932.

Burton US Open to feature snowboard instruction area for young kids

A your girl in snowboarding gear high-fives an instructor

Children ages 3 to 6 will have the opportunity to learn snowboarding basics from Vail Resorts instructors at Riglet Park.

The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships are upon us, and while you may love watching athletes speed down the mountain, the little ones might not — they might not even know what’s going on. Burton, however, has you covered with its Riglet program.

Riglet offers children ages 3 to 6 the opportunity to learn snowboarding basics at the hands of Vail Resorts instructors for free.

“What we do is create a snow-based playground with fun features for kids to play around on,” said Shaun Cattanach, globals resorts manager with Burton. “The idea is that while they’re having fun, they’re also learning the basics of snowboarding.”

The learning area, located by the magic carpet at Golden Peak with a satellite location in the sponsor village, will mimic the features that the professionals are navigating. Much like what adults will see on the slopes, Riglet will offer miniature versions of the halfpipe and slopestyle course, with a mini banked slalom course in the works.

Cattanach describes the results he’s seen as “phenomenal.”

14 month old snowboarder Lilia LaConte – Vail Daily On the Hill 3.3.16 from On the Hill on Vimeo.


“If kids are having fun, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Cattanach said. “But there have been multitudes of kids that have gotten into snowboarding because of the exposure they got at Riglet.”

The Riglet Park at Burton US Open will attempt to mimic the courses that professionals will race on, including slopestyle course and a mini halfpipe.

It’s not just the kids that love it, either.

“We have a crew of instructors every year because they want to keep coming back,” Cattanach said. “It’s apparently a sought-after assignment.”

Riglet, which has been a feature of the Burton US Open since it moved to Vail seven years ago, will be open on Friday for private lessons, and Saturday to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jam band Leftover Salmon to play the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek

Most people say that fish doesn’t save well overnight, but Leftover Salmon might just prove that theory wrong.

After 30-years of success, jam band Leftover Salmon will bring its newest tour, Stories from the Living Room, to the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a stripped down version of Leftover Salmon,” said Greg Garrison, the band’s bassist. “We’re traveling with a full living room set with lampshades and paintings and all that.”

The idea for the living room set came from the band wanting to do something new, to “take it to the next level,” according to Garrison. The idea came about when the band decided to promote a book written about them, “Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival,” which details the band’s history. Between the songs, the members of Leftover Salmon will also discuss the band’s history.

Not to fret, however. The changes don’t mean that the show will be low-energy.

“Every night there’s a couple people concerned that we wouldn’t bring the same certain energy,” Garrison said. “But every time, without fail, after the show, they’re like ‘that was awesome!'”

Additionally, Garrison thought that the living room-style show would be a great fit for the Vilar Center specifically.

The show is meant to be a special one, featuring music from the band’s entire songbook, as well as tunes that haven’t been released yet, making for a unique and compelling show.

Finally, the show also celebrates Leftover Salmon turning 30 — a feat that not many jam bands accomplish.

“It’s a testament not only to (founding members) Vince (Drew) and Drew (Emmitt) hanging in as long as they have, but also the fans sticking through lineup changes and tragedies we’ve been through as well as the changes in music,” Garrison said. “Not a lot of bands that have made it that far.”

Tickets for Leftover Salmon are $45 and can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org.


Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at nday@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2932.

Calefax Reed Quintet to bring European excellence to the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek

When he was 18, Alban Wesley and a few of his fellow reed musicians formed a group to play together. They eventually started to gain more and more traction, and now, 33 years later, the group, Calefax Reed Quintet, has hit the big time.

“Sometimes, something happens early in your life and you’re really hooked to it,” Wesley said. “And then it becomes your profession.”

Wesley and his fellow musicians are from Amsterdam but have played in 41 countries around the world. Their upcoming performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center — set to take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. — is part of their 15th tour in the United States.

While they’ve got plenty of experience under their belt, Wesley and his colleagues have one small reservation about playing here.

“We’ve never played at that altitude,” Wesley said.

All five members of the band play reed instruments, meaning that breathing and blowing and having strong breath control are all important — and they’re all difficult for travelers.

“To bassoonists, reeds are what vocal cords are to singers,” Wesley said.

That being said, there’s plenty for them to look forward to.

“I’m really looking forward to being in the beautiful surroundings (of Colorado),” Wesley noted.

Despite having played all over the world, this will be the band’s first visit to Colorado and to Beaver Creek. Not only that, but the performance will be significantly smaller than some of their other performances, such as an annual open-air concert over the canals of Amsterdam.

“We love to be close to our audience … so we aren’t bothered by smaller venues,” Wesley said of performing in the Vilar Center. “We can really fill it with our sound.”

Calefax Reed Quintet — the current members of which have been playing together for 22 years — has an impressive repertoire, with songs reaching as far back as 1100. Their music, played with an oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon, shows influence from jazz and has garnered international praise from musicians, critics and audiences alike.

Catch Calefax Reed Quintet at the Vilar Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tickets, on sale now for $68 for adults and $10 for students, can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org.

Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at nday@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2932.

Talib Kweli’s beautiful struggle: Rapper to play Monday night show at Avon’s Agave

Why did Talib Kweli never come up with a stage name?

“I’m just different than everybody,” said the Brooklyn-bred MC, calling from Utah, en route to his Monday night show at Agave. “I just couldn’t think of anything better. My name is dope.”

That it is. For an artist who has always sought higher truths through his music, there isn’t a more fitting moniker than Talib Kweli. Talib translates as “student” or “seeker” in Arabic, while Kweli is Swahili for “truth.”

And Kweli has been dope ever since he showed up in your headphones, which, for most hip-hop fans, was 1998 when he and Mos Def formed “the best alliance in hip-hop” on the classic “Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star” album.

More than 20 years later, with 10 solo albums to his name, two more partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, as well as countless mix-tape appearances and collaborations, Kweli remains revered among lyricists for his craftsmanship and his social and political messaging. He’s worked with A-list producers such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla and Madlib, and he’s become the head of his own media imprint, Javotti Media, a “platform for independent thinkers and doers” that releases music, films and books. He’s also performed in nearly every corner of the globe, rocking festival stages and solo club shows, spreading his message of equality. He’s been there and done that, sharing bills with the likes of hip-hop icons such as A Tribe Called Quest to the Wu-Tang Clan.

“Wu is just, iconic, they’re our Beatles,” Kweli said. “Always an honor and a pleasure to work with them, chill with them, record with them. I just shot an episode of ‘The Last O.G.’ with Tracy Morgan and Method Man is a character on the show and I got to chop it up with him. I’m as much of a fan of Wu as everybody else.”

And you can always find Kweli on Twitter, where he engages in daily verbal warfare with bigots, fake tough guys and any other sucker who dares to test his intellectual resolve.

Made in Brooklyn

Kweli said he got his activist spirit from his mother, an English professor, and his father, a university administrator, while growing up among the brownstones in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“My parents, while they weren’t hardcore, they were always active in protest movements, voter registration drives, active in the anti-apartheid movement. That was my lens,” Kweli said. “My mother would take us to museums and shows, we had anti-apartheid posters in the house when I was little. My parents raised me to understand that I’m part of a community. To always give back.”

Which Kweli has. He’s invested in the causes he raps about, showing up at rallies and in classrooms, and meeting with officials of all stripes to speak out against racism, police brutality, economic inequality and the prison-industrial complex.

He traveled to Ferguson, Missouri, to join the protests following the shooting of Michael Brown, then organized two benefit concerts on the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death.

‘Nobody can tell me how to fight’

There are also the near-constant scraps on Twitter. When asked if he ever gets exhausted doing battle with trolls, Kweli said it’s quite the opposite.

“It invigorates me, it empowers me,” he said. “From my perspective, it’s startling to me that people are living their lives on the internet, living on social media, taking cars on Uber, shopping on Amazon, but when it comes to politics, it’s ignore racists on the internet. People are spending the majority of their lives on the internet, so why would it make sense to ignore bigotry and hate? That only benefits one person. Because these angry voices, that people say to ignore, they feel empowered when they’re ignored, or when they mob up.”

To make his point, Kweli said that Donald Trump retweeted neo-Nazis more than 70 times on the campaign trail, which he said “should have been a huge story but was mostly ignored because people were in the he-could-never-win phase.”

A year later, the Unite the Right rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, proved just how emboldened those angry voices on Twitter had become — and why ignoring them was wrong.

“A year later they’re out there lighting tiki torches, literally murdering people in the streets,” Kweli said. “Murdering people in synagogues.”

He makes a point, however, that he’s equipped to handle and compartmentalize the daily invective, unlike most.

“If you don’t have it in you, if it triggers you, the names they call you, that’s another story,” he said. “But nobody can tell me how to fight.”

Common ground

It goes without saying that Kweli has a firm opinion on the recent Super Bowl halftime show controversy in which a number of high-profile artists of color, most notably Jay-Z and Rihanna, have turned down the NFL in support of Colin Kaepernick.

Kweli clarifies that answering a hypothetical about whether or not he’d perform at the Super Bowl is awkward.

“I’m not on that level of fame,” he said. “I wouldn’t be asked to do the Super Bowl, and it’s pretentious to weigh in on that level.”

He also doesn’t fault rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott for signing on after others turned it down.

“I would never tell anyone how to protest and I would never tell anyone how to make money,” he said.

Still, Kweli said he’s proud of the artists who took a stand.

“I think they’re setting a great precedent by declining,” he said. “They’re standing on the shoulders of their ancestors. They’re proving that the NFL needs Kap way more than Kap needs the NFL.”

He reiterates that the issue has always been about police brutality, which Kaepernick brought attention to with his silent protest, and that the message has been twisted.

“It’s not only about Kap, it’s about police brutality, and that part gets lost in the conversation,” Kweli said. “Kap’s jersey has done very well. The Nike commercial was super dope. But I have to be critical of Nike, though, because the guy who runs Nike contributes money to the Trump campaign. There are so many layers to it. The goal is not to see how many ways we can be different, but similar. There’s a lot of common ground.”

Underground Sound to feature Southern soul with JJ Grey & Mofro in Beaver Creek

JJ Grey is known for his soulful Southern rock, which he’ll bring to the Vilar Performing Arts Center Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Grey will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Vilar’s Underground Sound concert series with his band Mofro and opener Commonheart.

Currently on tour across the West coast, Grey looks forward to returning to Vail. In the past, he’s performed at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater as well as at several local festivals.

Although he now plays large venues like The Fillmore in San Francisco, Grey is happy to return to his roots at the Vilar.

“I love it,” Grey said in reference to performing at smaller venues. “I like it when crowds are right there. It’s great playing bigger rooms, but there’s something to be said about the crowd being right there so close.”

Although Grey describes himself as “the world’s worst salesperson” when it comes to describing his music, he refers to it at bluesy and soulful. However, it’s not just about the music for Grey.

“I really want to share an honest moment with the audience,” said Gray. “I want us to enjoy the night, to get there and nowhere else.”

With seven studio albums under their belt—the most recent being 2015’s “Ol’ Glory”—the show will contain an eclectic mix of the band’s tunes, including their biggest hit and their most notable crowd pleaser “Lochloosa.” The songs from each album will “pop in and out” of one another, ensuring a performance featuring the best of the best from JJ Grey & Mofro.

Tickets for the show are $52 and can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org.

Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at nday@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2932.