Jackson Emmer and Sierra Ferrell perform as dual headliners Sept. 3 | VailDaily.com

Jackson Emmer and Sierra Ferrell perform as dual headliners Sept. 3

VPAC celebrates two amazing bands on one night to close out summer lineup

Performing first on Friday night will be Jackson Emmer, an award-winning singer-songwriter and producer from Colorado.
Vail Valley Foundation/Courtesy photo

Carbondale-based Jackson Emmer and Nashville-based Sierra Ferrell will perform as dual headliners to close out the summer lineup at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek on Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

“Sierra Ferrell’s songs come with a wink and smile, channeling the romanticism, humor and heartache of 1940s country and jazz favorites,” said Owen Hutchinson, executive director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “As if she is using the music of Hank Williams, Bessie Smith and early Dolly Parton as a starting point, we explore an alternate future for this musical era through Sierra’s captivating original songs.”

“Catch her now, in this most intimate of settings, for her Star is ever one the rise,” NPR Music writes about Ferrell, who grew up in West Virginia before her career led her to Nashville.

With a spellbinding voice and time-bending sound, Ferrell is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who got her start belting out Shania Twain songs in a West Virginia bar at the age of 7. She left home in her early 20s to journey across the country with a troupe of wandering musicians.

“The music they were making was so honest, so pure,” she says. “It seemed important to bring that kind of music back, and it’s been with me ever since.”

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After years of living in her van and busking around on the streets of New Orleans and Seattle, Ferrell moved to Nashville where she signed with Rounder Records in 2019. To date, she’s shared the stage with the likes of Trampled by Turtles, Parker Millsap and Charley Crockett while performing at major festivals including The Avett Brothers at the Beach.

“I want my music to be like my mind is – all over the place,” she says. “I listen to everything from bluegrass to techno to goth metal, and it all inspires me in different ways that I try to incorporate into my songs and make people really feel something.”

“She’s been wandering the country busking and adventuring, and she’s got a tremendous voice that’s joyously lilting, and at once vintage and contemporary. She sings with abandon, with a huge repertoire that spans jazz, country and cowboy music, with undertones of the blues,” NPR Music writes.

Performing first Friday night will be Emmer, an award-winning singer-songwriter and producer from Colorado.

“Few are writing songs like Jackson Emmer,” writes Rolling Stone.

Emmer’s writing is often compared to that of John Prine and Guy Clark. He has toured the U.S. numerous times, collaborated with Grammy Award-winners and received grants and awards for his music in Texas and Colorado. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, American Songwriter, the Cannes Film Festival and 200-plus radio stations worldwide.

Emmer began singing at the age of 20. However, due to the arid, mountain climate around Aspen, and the rigors of long bar gigs, his vocal cords were soon in tatters. By 28, he had lost his voice completely. Undeterred, he rebuilt his voice from the ground up, learned to sing again and soon a new sound emerged.

“I’m a quiet optimist,” Emmer says. “There is only one way: forward.”

Lush with overtones, ghostly harmonics and friendly grit, Emmer’s voice is better than ever.

For more information and tickets to the Emmer-Ferrell dual-headliner performance at the VPAC, visit vilarpac.org.

If you go …

What: Jackson Emmer and Sierra Ferrell perform as dual-headliners to close out VPAC’s summer lineup.

When: Friday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Cost: $25

More information: Visit vilarpac.org/jackson-emmer-and-sierra-ferrell


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