The Johnny Schleper Band performs Thursday in Vilar Performing Arts Center's live-streamed concert series |

The Johnny Schleper Band performs Thursday in Vilar Performing Arts Center’s live-streamed concert series

The Johnny Schleper Band takes over the Vilar Performing Arts Center stage for the next concert in the Ghost Light Sessions live-streamed concert series. Going live at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, Schleper and his crew are excited to get together for what will be as close to a true concert as they’ve played in a while.

The Johnny Schleper band brings together musicians from across the Vail Valley’s music scene.
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Like many of its predecessors in the series, the band booked the gig from local connections and grassroots planning.

“Bob Masters initiated it with this band. He usually plays with the Turntable Revue, but he was out of town,” Schleper said.

Masters asked if he could play with the Johnny Schleper Band and the Vilar said sure.

“It’s awesome,” he said.

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The band is made up of Bob Masters on guitar; Mark Levy on drums; Joe Bianchi on bass and Jeff Armistead on keyboard. Schleper, who grew up in the Vail Valley, will begin playing solo live shows at Vail Valley spots starting the Fourth of July weekend at Red Lion, and will add more gigs as more hotels and the like open up.

For the show itself, the band is hoping to add a few more originals into the mix, especially since Schleper has been working on new music since quarantine. He’ll play some older stuff and build variety in the setlist.

As a full-time musician, it’s been a bit tough for Schleper to be suddenly out of work in the middle of the winter season with no true return date. He’s done a handful of live-streams, which have been fun to reconnect with old friends.

“It’s also kinda nice, because I’ve been able to spend time with my family. I’ve got a 17-month-old daughter. The wife, the dog. I’ve been recording music a bunch, which I don’t get much time to do usually,” he said. “It’s been good.”

Schleper has a recording space in Red Cliff, but he moved a lot of his equipment to his house.

Even still, he’s excited to get back on a regular stage. Whatever crowd he plays to will be very small, but his brother Hunter will be at the show doing lights and visuals. Putting together a production will be a welcome change of pace from self-produced live-streams.

“I’ve been doing it and it’s just one camera angle. I think I’ve got the sound dialed in pretty good, but it’s not going to be the same as the Vilar sound so I’m really excited,” he said. “Plus, I’m playing with people now. I’ve been doing mostly solo shows, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing with people.”

Log into the free stream by accessing the Vilar’s YouTube page or heading to As always, a virtual tip jar will be available to support the band.

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