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

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

Quintet from Holland set to bring unique reed music to the Vilar

Five men stand with reed instruments
Calefax Reed Quintet will play at the Vilar on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Special to the Daily
IF YOU GO ... What: Calefax Reed Quintet. When: Thursday, 7 p.m. Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek. Cost: $68 for adults, $10 for students. More information:

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

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

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