John Hiatt and Joan Osborne take the Vilar stage
Editors note: Directors 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.The incredible summer 2008 Vilar Center concert series comes to its conclusion at 7:30 p.m. tonight with a special double-bill featuring Joan Osborne and John Hiatt. What a tremendous season it has been, and I want to thank all of you for your support. I hope youll join me at the theatre tonight for one of the greatest shows of the lineup. In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Joan Osborne has proven to be an artistically diverse and consistently enthralling performer. In 2002, she cemented her reputation as a top tier soul singer with an incredible turn in the acclaimed documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, followed by a tour with legendary Motown backing band The Funk Brothers. In 2003, Osborne toured with the Dixie Chicks and then toured throughout America for two years as the lead singer for The Dead. In 2007, she graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Tonight begins the first of eight select tour dates with singer/songwriter John Hiatt. Her new album, Little Wild One (reviewed earlier this week in The Vail Daily) is due out Sept. 9. Hopefully those in attendance tonight will be among the first lucky enough to hear some of the new songs live, along with music from all of her previous albums. I am a particular fan of her interpretations of timeless R&B classics like Aint No Sunshine, Midnight Train to Georgia and Kiss and Say Goodbye from her album Breakfast in Bed. I so look forward to this opportunity to experience her amazing, diverse vocal talents live, and hope youll be there to enjoy it with me. Singer/songwriter John Hiatt will headline the evening, and fans can look forward to hearing some of the many hits from his incredible 30 year career. If you are not familiar with Hiatt as a performer, you will certainly know his songs as they have been covered successfully by everyone from Bonnie Raitt (A Thing Called Love), Suzy Bogguss (Drive South), Rosanne Cash (The Way We Mend a Broken Heart), Jeff Healey (Angel Eyes), and Aaron Neville (Feels Like Rain) to Ronnie Milsap, Eric Clapton, BB King, Iggy Pop and Three Dog Night. His 20th album, Same Old Man, was released in May, and it finds Hiatt reflecting on a long career of songwriting, touring and recording. Fans have been asking us to have Hiatt back since he sold out the Vilar in 2001, so dont miss this opportunity to see him live. We are in the final stages of programming for the winter 2008/09 season. The lineup includes an amazing variety of musical theatre, dance, classical music, concerts and family shows. The final schedule will be announced in late September, and I will be reviewing some of the highlights in the coming weeks in this column. For all of us who live here year-round, there will be ongoing events throughout the fall including ski and snowboard films from Absynthe Films, Matchstick Productions and Warren Miller; the annual fall production of You Cant Stop the Beat from the Vail Performing Arts Academy; and on Nov. 1, singer/songwriter Martin Sexton will kick off our winter concert series.For more information, visit the Vilar Web site at http://www.vilarpac.org. Have a great fall and I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.