Sam Bush brings new school bluegrass to the Vilar Performing Arts Center Monday |

Sam Bush brings new school bluegrass to the Vilar Performing Arts Center Monday

Sam Bush has earned his spot as one of the most influential new school bluegrass musicians.
Special to the Daily

Alternately dubbed the “father of newgrass” and the King of Telluride, there’s no doubt Sam Bush is a legend. The Grammy-award winning master mandolin and fiddle player and accomplished bluegrass vocalist performs at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Monday, March 9. The show is at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $52.

Sam Bush grew up on a cattle farm in Kentucky listening to his parents’ record collection. His father played the fiddle and organized local jams. Bush’s love of music steadily grew as he did, and he acquired his first mandolin at age 11. As a teenager, Bush was a three-time national champion in the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest.

By 1971, Bush was part of New Grass Revival, a band that he would perform with for nearly two decades before he joined Emmylou Harris’ Nash Ramblers, who he toured and performed with until the mid ‘90s. In 1995, Bush worked as a sideman with Lyle Lovett and Bela Fleck’s Flecktones. 

He took home three-straight IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year awards, 1990-‘92, and a fourth in 2007. In 1995 he reunited with Fleck, by this time a burgeoning superstar, and toured with the Flecktones, reigniting his penchant for improvisation. Then, finally, after a quarter-century of making music with New Grass Revival and collaborating with other bands, Sam Bush went solo.

To date, Bush has released seven albums and a live DVD over the past two decades. In 2009, the Americana Music Association awarded Bush the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist. Punch Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Greensky Bluegrass are just a few present-day bluegrass vanguards among so many musicians he’s influenced. His performances are annual highlights of the festival circuit.

“His blend of bluegrass and Americana makes for a winning combination regardless, but it’s his exuberance and exhilaration as much as his prowess and proficiency that makes an evening with Bush and his band so abundantly entertaining,” writes Lee Zimmerman in a story for Bluegrass Today. 

Purchase tickets by calling 970-845-8497 or visiting

If you go …

What: Sam Bush

When: Monday, March 9, 7 p.m. 

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Cost: Starting at $52

More information: Visit or call 970-845-8497

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