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Best Wandering Minstrel

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Helmut Fricker

Ken Carpenter

For 38 years Helmut Fricker has been living in Vail. He doesn’t like it, he loves it. “It’s a beautfiul natural environment,” said the musician and bookbinder. “Everybody’s smiling because we live in a beautfiful area.” Though he used to play the trombone, he mostly sticks to the accordion and the Alp horn. Not sure you’ve seen an Alp horn? You’d remember it if you had. Used for communication up and down the valleys in Switzerland, they’re enormous curved horns that rest on the ground while a person blows into them. Fricker plays his in Beaver Creek Wednesdays through Sundays, and he takes requests. What’s his most requested song? “‘Edelweiss’ from ‘Sound of Music.’ The people want to hear it again and again, and they want me to yodel, maybe 10 to 20 times a day.” Does he mind? “Of course not. We want to give the people what they want.” Fricker also plays the apres scene at the Christiania in Vail on Fridays.



Ken Carpenter is the only banjo-picking, cello-playing wandering caricaturist. These days he’s most often found with a marker in his hand at a number of Beaver Creek locations (Park Hyatt, The Charter, St. James Place and Post Montaine, depending on the day). Caricatures appeal to a diverse, international crowd, from newlyweds to kids, grandparents to spring break marauders. In any case, Carpenter will translate them all from 3D to the page.


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