Powerhouse vocalist Hazel Miller returns to Beaver Creek tonight
Special to the Daily
IF YOU GO...
Who: Hazel Miller
What: Beaver Creek Music Experience
Where: Beaver Creek Village
When: Wednesday, with yoga at the Buckaroo Express Gondola at 4:30 p.m. followed by the concert at the Ice Rink at 6 p.m.
How much: Free
More info: www.beavercreek.com
BEAVER CREEK — Known for her powerful vocals and versatile mix of jazz, blues, pop and gospel, Colorado music legend Hazel Miller is ready to wow at Beaver Creek’s Music Experience, presented by Alpine Bank, on Wednesday night. Miller, an icon in the Colorado music scene for 30 years, is no stranger to the Beaver Creek venue, and is looking forward to being back in the mountains under a bright blanket of stars and in front of an energized crowd. Miller’s performance is part of the free summer concert series at the resort beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink.
Miller’s last trip to Beaver Creek was an unforgettable experience to perform for the crowd at the 2015 World Ski Championships, along with a live television audience of nearly 200 million viewers.
“Just the idea that I was there was amazing,” she recalled, “I couldn’t help but thinking my mother was smiling down on me saying, ‘You’ve made it!’ It just made me thrilled to be a Coloradan.”
From Kentucky to Colorado
Being a veteran of the Beaver Creek Music Experience, she’s looking forward to coming back for the summer, citing the unbeaten experience that is fostered in the Vail Valley.
“The lifestyle is just amazing. Every time I come up to visit the hospitality and excitement is world class. I’ve been all over the world, and there really is nothing like performing in the mountains,” she said.
Hailing from Kentucky, where her musical career began, Miller stumbled upon Colorado by chance as she was relocating across the country with her sons, and electrical problems with their moving truck stranded them in Denver for two weeks.
“We stopped in Denver, Aug. 14, 1984 to get our truck fixed,” she explained. “My sons were supposed to be in school in three weeks, and I called up the one person I knew in the area, my pianist Dana Marsh. He helped me find a place to live so I could get my kids in school and he told me, ‘You’re not going to want to leave.’”
Now 30 years later, Miller still calls Denver home, and Marsh continues to be a pivotal member of her band. “The whole band is best of friends. We love playing together, and we’ve been playing together for years. We’re a bunch of pranksters and jokesters; we just love to have fun,” she explained. That playfulness is emulated in Miller and her bands style; they love interaction from the crowd, and nothing gets them more excited than to see people get up and dance.
Along with her incredible vocal range, the obvious draw for many of Miller’s fans is her bright personality, both of which she credits to the atmosphere fostered in the Colorado lifestyle and music scene.
“The bands coming out of Colorado are fantastic; I’d put them up against anyone out there,” she said.
She credits the move to Colorado as being a huge upswing in her life that led her to connect with many acts that helped shape her career. Notably, Miller has performed alongside Big Head Todd and the Monsters for years, with whom she has performed many times in the Vail Valley. Similarly, Miller credits the incredible support of the network of musicians in Denver as being one that has been important in her career, along with playing an important part in the musical family and scene in Colorado.
“Friends and fans have become family,” she said. “It’s incredibly encouraging and special.”
A Vail regular
Along with her performances with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Miller has performed at countless venues and events around the Vail Valley over the course of her tenure in Colorado, and continually looks forward to the visit. The friendly faces that have always welcomed her trips to the area are ones she never forgets, “There’s always such an excitement when we’re in town to perform; we feel like we’re at Red Rocks!”
Beaver Creek is excited to have Hazel Miller and her band back as well, as they add to an already scintillating summer line up. Concert goers are welcome to join for complementary yoga, courtesy of the Allegria Spa, next to the Buckaroo Express Gondola at 4:30 p.m.. Sure to get the crowd on its feet, Hazel Miller and her band will kick off the music festivities at 6 p.m. at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink. For more information, see http://www.beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/music-experience.