Director’s Chair: Nine events in 12 days in Beaver Creek |

Director’s Chair: Nine events in 12 days in Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThe Blue Note 7 will perform at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek on Jan. 16. The group will explore classic tunes by Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and many others. Tickets are $50.


Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

This early part of the New Year is typically a bit slower ” our guests have gone home and we catch our breath to get ready for the next busy time. At the VPAC we usually take it a little slower as well but this year there were so many amazing artists on tour that over the next 12 days we will be presenting nine different events. The variety is incredible and includes dance, classical, bluegrass, reggae, country and jazz.

Let me start with a run down of the artists for the next week, and then I want to focus on a special 70th anniversary concert by Blue Note Records recording artists.

On Sunday, reggae band the Wailers will be performing one of the most important albums of the last century, “Exodus,” in its entirety.

On Tuesday we have an amazing string ensemble, Interpreti Veneziani, who will be performing the works of Vivaldi, Correlli and Handel on period instruments. This group performs mroe than 200 concerts a year at San Vidal Church. This is the same location in Venice where Vivaldi wrote and performed most of his works.

On Wednesday Lyle Lovett ” not with his large band, but a scaled down trio ” will perform a very intimate show. The show is sold-out, but call the box office to see if there are any last minute tickets available.

On Thursday, the king of new grass, Sam Bush, makes a much anticipated return after many years. Bush, a favorite at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, has sold out twice before at the VPAC and we have been working hard to get him back to Colorado for a winter performance.

Next Friday, Jan. 16, we are fortunate to be a part of a year long celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, a label synonymous with great jazz since 1939. Since its very first recording session on Jan. 6, 1939, Blue Note has grown from a small, independent label to become the world’s premiere and longest-running Jazz label. It derives its name from the characteristic “blue notes” of jazz and the blues. Blue Note is principally associated with the “hard bop” style of jazz (mixing bebop with other forms of music including soul, blues, rhythm and blues and gospel).

The celebration kicks off Jan. 7 with the start of a worldwide tour by The Blue Note 7, an all-star tribute band comprising pianist and musical director Bill Charlap with trumpeter Nicholas Payton, alto saxophonist Steve Wilson, tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, guitarist Peter Bernstein, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. The tour will hit 50 U.S. cities, capped off with a week-long run at Birdland in New York April 14-19. A European tour is planned for October through November. On Jan. 13, the septet will release “Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records,” an eight-song collection of re-envisioned Blue Note classics.

Jazz is an American art form that has spread throughout the world but could only come out of the melting pot that is America. And whether you are a huge fan or are curious to learn more about the medium, this is a rare opportunity to hear some of the finest musicians of our day explore classic tunes by Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and many others.

Next week we will look at the other four shows but if you can’t wait, check them out at our Web site,

See you at the theatre.

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